Cloud computing is quickly becoming a popular household name. Nowadays, everyone takes advantage of all the flexibility and accessibility that the cloud has to offer.
In the last couple of years we’ve witnessed incredible growth in cloud adoption all over the world. More and more institutions are embracing these types of solutions, and because of that, cloud advocacy is at an all time high. As it is often the case with new tech, adoption rates will vary. The US is currently leading the cloud revolution with the highest arrogation rate. Europe is close behind, however some territories seem to be complete strangers to cloud computing.
How Europe stacks vs. the US
Progressively more startups in the European market are embracing the cloud. Startups are a big driver because they’re already familiar with new tech, so they don’t have to go through the hassles typically associated with migrating from old technology. That’s why startups today have one less problem to think about when jumping head first in a competitive market – they already have the tools to disrupt entire industries.
Small businesses are just one part of the story. European enterprises are also the forefront of cloud adoption, but way behind America. A recent study by Right Scale uncovered that in 2014, a whopping 74% of American enterprises were already using a multi-cloud strategy. Similar research conducted by Eurostat revealed that only 19% of European businesses currently use cloud computing services. In other words, Europe is struggling (and will continue to do so for some time) to catch up to their American equivalents.
While the difference is notable, Europe does show clear signs of progress per capita. The EU comprises 28 countries, but not all of them use cloud services the same, or as abundantly. For example, there can be huge differences when it comes to capital, regulations and culture. Just by glancing at the chart above, it’s easy to see that there’s a substantial difference between Northern EU countries, and those located in Eastern Europe. There is, in fact, a 45.22% gap between the most avid buyer of cloud services, Finland, and the slowest cloud adopters, such as Bulgaria, Greece, and Poland.
Fear of change
Catching up to the American market is indeed a challenge. One of the primary factors hindering cloud adoption on the Old Continent is, believe it or not, security. It has long been proved that data centers are no more vulnerable to attacks than your own laptop. In fact, security is a top priority for cloud service providers. Chances are a company’s data is safer offshore than in house.
Then there’s the lack of knowledge about cloud computing. Not quite like it was back in 2011, but even so This is actually the biggest reported roadblock for European companies big and small. 42% of the enterprises that are not currently using cloud services say they don’t posses enough knowledge – neither about implementing cloud solutions, nor about the costs. Fear of a security breach takes second place in concerns, with 37% of respondents being afraid of data leaks.
A study conducted in the UK by CRN shows that 70%+ of business executives regard data security as their main concern in the decision-making process of embracing cloud solutions. Specifically, they are citing privacy, loss of control and cost uncertainty as they key deterrents in cloud implementation.
Taking it to the next level
While distance is no longer the problem, proper knowledge is. Company-wide implementation can be met with skepticism, especially in the C-suite. However, part of the problem also comes from those who actually sell cloud services. Their business isn’t as clear as some prospective buyers would want it to be. Transparency is key when it comes to definitive change. Cloud industry leaders should be the first to understand the importance of educating the European market, if they want to give Americans a run for their money.
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