Why Is Europe Not Storming The Cloud?

Why Is Europe Not Storming The Cloud?

It is expected that Europe will be behind the US by a minimum of two years when it comes to cloud computing adoption, due to four major issues: the current euro crisis, advanced privacy rules, the changing political decision-making, and local business needs. These are the primary reasons why Europe is taking a much slower pace in adopting cloud computing as compared to the USA. Analyst group Gartner believe that although there is high interest in cloud computing in Europe, there are so many local complications that it could result in delaying adoption there by at least two years.

Due to the present economic crisis in Europe, most huge investments have been put on standby. Also, strategic decision-making has slowed down and only a few organizations are expressing willingness to invest in major technologies. Many businesses would like to have a better understanding of the implications of the financial crisis prior to investing their money in technology.

Privacy legislation is also a major problem for European organizations who want to shift to the cloud. According to Gartner, these organizations see the US Patriot Act as a stumbling block because they fear that it is illegal or undesirable to tap cloud computing service providers in the US. The US Patriot Act is a law which permits US authorities to access data in specific circumstances. Because of this Act, European companies are taking a slower pace in adopting cloud computing because major cloud computing service providers are incorporated or located in the United States of America. According to Gartner, these European companies are getting inaccurate information and they should seek ways of tapping the cloud safely.

Another factor contributing to the slower pace of European adoption of cloud computing is the policy details in the European Union. Policy making takes a long time. The EU usually sets regulations and policies which are incorporated in each member state’s legislation. However, every member state has the right to append local legislation to such policies and regulations. Because of this, resolution of issues regarding cloud computing regulations takes a long time. Lastly, each country in Europe has its own business practices and regulations. Enterprise software developers and providers have made huge profits by providing country-specific versions of their accounting software. Because of these country-specific regulations and business practices, the local business needs may not fit with the cloud computing one-size-fits-all business model.

Gartner vice-president David Mitchell Smith believes that although these inhibitors will slow down European adoption of cloud computing, it will not prevent adoption, because cloud computing offers attractive benefits and, in the interest of agility and efficiency, these inhibitors will not be able to delay adoption any further.

Alcatel-Lucent, another research company, believe that availability, response time, and stability are really the major inhibitors of European adoption of cloud computing services. In the company’s survey of technical decision makers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, India, France, the UK, and the US, Alcatel-Lucent found that as much as 66 percent name service outages as the primary reason why they are not yet moving to the cloud. Forty percent of these decision makers said that long or frequent service outages have been experienced and that 50 percent complained that service-level agreements have not been complied with by the cloud computing service providers. According to the same report, sectors such as the government, healthcare, insurance and finance are very reluctant to adopt  cloud computing technology.

By Florence de Borja

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