Cloud adoption within European countries is growing, with an adoption rate of 46% in the EU in 2022 – but how will this evolve in the next few years? Divya Ghai Wakankar, VP Enterprise Market at BICS, shares her insights into the European cloud ecosystem and how it could affect the data centre industry.
Covid-19: The turning point in digital transformation
Businesses everywhere have undertaken digital transformation projects in the last decade. However, before 2020, the complex and costly infrastructures required, alongside the lack of cloud investments, were preventing some organizations from fully embracing the change.
The Covid-19 pandemic put pressure on businesses at an unprecedented scale, forcing them to accelerate their digital transformation. The rise of e-commerce and remote working meant businesses had to respond, fast – and the evident way of successfully doing so was through cloud adoption. Cloud investments rose, and the cloud migration took place in enterprises internationally at scale, with no sign of it slowing down. Gartner predicts enterprise spending on public cloud computing will surpass investment in traditional IT by 2025.
The driving factors behind cloud adoption
There are multiple factors driving cloud adoption, including businesses’ growth plans requiring scalability, and the need for a robust computing solution to manage the ever-increasing data. Also, for enterprises operating in industries subject to specific data security laws and regulations, security and compliance are the top priority. Capabilities such as control, customization, or integration with internal business processes can also impact this decision.
Local and regional regulations directly affect the business’s decisions when debating whether to go with a public or private cloud solution. The risks and hesitations surrounding this are increasing due to the tightening and differing data regulations across Europe, such as the requirement to keep data within the borders of their respective countries.
“In the coming years, we expect to see additional security requirements. Companies that decide to combat this by holding only private cloud systems will face delays in transformation projects and feel the financial burden of trying to replicate systems that are readily available on public cloud”, shares Wakankar.
The hybrid cloud – cutting through the complexity
Two things are clear: The first one is that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to cloud migration – each organization must develop a strategy that addresses its unique needs in terms of security, performance, and compliance. Secondly, as Wakankar affirms “the public and private cloud are two elements of a wider communications ecosystem, and are complementary to each other, rather than in competition.”
As a result, instead of persisting with their private cloud systems, many companies in Europe are turning to hybrid models, in which they use both public and private clouds. depending on the use case. Here is where the Hyperscalers come in. They provide enterprises with fully-dedicated and private on-premise cloud systems, through a subset of public cloud capabilities.
“This has been seen in industries such as aviation, where companies have varying use cases for their data and require the use of hybrid clouds, using the private cloud for workloads and devices requiring low latency; and the public cloud for data analytics such as in-flight log analysis” explains Wakankar.
As well as lessening risk for companies, there are additional benefits to this move. Wakankar predicts that this could “narrow the cost gap between public cloud at the national level and private cloud.”
Despite the fact that Hyperscalers have been previously limited by their marketing budgets in certain regions, creating barriers when it came to education and promotion, this is expected to change in the coming years. Wakankar predicts that “adoption in Eastern and Southern Europe will become faster as best practice cases from Western Europe are replicated.”
All signs point to multi-cloud connectivity solutions
Essentially, data privacy regulation, such as what we have recently seen in Europe, means that businesses looking for effective solutions need to combine both public and private cloud to ensure all services remain compliant. Organizations should therefore look for multi-cloud connectivity solutions that offer secure data transportation. Establishing such infrastructure will ensure cross-border compliance on a regulatory level and prevent data breaches for organizations across borders.