While it seems the adoption of cloud services in US goes ever smoother, in Europe this is not the case. It is estimated that Europe is now two years behind US as far as cloud adoption is concerned. This is mostly due to the fact that it was previously facing a hard economic period which in many ways slowed down its cloud adoption. However, it is also predicted that the use of cloud computing services will significantly grow in the next couple of years.
On July 1st 2012 European Commission issued the panel of privacy that included the concept of cloud computing. The panel is called Article 29 Working Party and is supposed to set the standards and guidelines related to adoption of cloud computing in 27 member countries. The report outlines positive sides of adopting cloud computing, but it also deals with issues of privacy. In January, Commission proposed a reform of data protection legislation so it would be made more suitable to current problems with online data.
Implementing remote systems is expected to result in higher efficacy and lower costs. This should generally have a positive impact on majority of enterprises in Europe. However, the major problem with security has to do with the rules of US Patriotic Act and this is why European countries are cautious about moving to the cloud. The obligation of US based cloud services to hand in any data that law enforcement authorities might ask makes them not quite welcome in Europe.
Besides this, adopting cloud services had other major inhibitors in Europe. In the past couple of years Europe faced a severe economic crisis and monetary instability. Fluctuations of Euro in the past two years caused much stress for Europe in general but they especially had impact on large investments. In their report from May 31st Gartner lists seven inhibitors that slow down the process of cloud adoption in Europe. Gartner points out that this instability caused major investments to be put on hold and decision-making processes to be slowed down.
According to recent IDC survey, 64% of SMEs in Europe uses at least one cloud-based service. The survey also reports that a large percent of current European businesses plan to further invest in cloud computing. The numbers from the study imply that cloud computing is becoming increasingly important in Europe and that it will constitute a significant part of businesses infrastructure in future.
David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow said that the interest in cloud adoption exists in Europe like elsewhere but that Europe is facing critical factors that negatively affect the whole process. “While these inhibitors will certainly slow down cloud adoption in Europe, they will not stop it — the potential benefits of cloud are too attractive and the interest in its efficiency and agility are too strong to stall it for long” he concludes.