Cloud technology trends: The European Cloud is Rising

Cloud technology trends: The European Cloud is Rising

This year will see European organizations – large and small, public and private – shift a larger share than ever of their IT applications to the cloud. The exact size of the cloud computing market in Europe is difficult to measure, because ideas about what should be included in this term vary. The most basic definition includes two broad families of cloud services:

  • IT infrastructure offered as a service: here the cloud provider stocks a data center with servers and basic software such as operating systems and databases, adds a layer of virtualization and management automation, and then rents out customizable slices of this infrastructure by the hour or even minute so that customers can deploy and manage their own IT applications;
  • Full scale IT applications offered as a service: here the cloud provider builds a complete application such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or Messaging and Communication, then makes it available to customers over the Internet for a monthly or annual fee per user.

There are countless variations on these two themes that we need not summarize here. Suffice it to say that the market for cloud services is big and its impact on European economic growth is even bigger. According the European Commission, the cloud is expected to add €103 billion of net new GDP to the European economy in the year 2020.

The common belief that cloud computing in Europe is dominated exclusively by American providers is not supported by the facts. According to IDC, the top four big name American cloud firms – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM – account for considerably less than half of total cloud revenue in Europe. The reality is that the European cloud market is extremely diverse, because European customers are themselves diverse. To meet this burgeoning demand, a whole host of specialized native European cloud providers have grown up alongside the U.S. firms. The European contenders include the French Cloudwatt, the Italo-Czech Aruba Cloud, the German ProfitBricks, the Swiss CloudSigma, the Swedish CityCloud, the Finnish UpCloud, and the British DataCentred, among many others.

The dynamic and competitive European market for cloud services will be a key driver of the continent’s economic growth in the years ahead. The European Cloud Alliance has published a paper on the key trends it sees for 2017, which we will serialise as blog posts over the coming weeks. As ever please do get in touch with any comments.

To download our report on 2017 cloud technology trends, click here.