This week we had the honour of hosting a session at the GigaOM Structure Europe event. The topic: The Public Cloud Revolution, is Europe ready? The audience: hosting, cloud, datacenter and SaaS providers. After ensuring that everybody is on the same page when discussing the public cloud, we confronted the audience with a few statements. Here’s the bottom line:
Europe is going to have a Happy Cloud scenario. First we presented the audience with our four public cloud computing scenarios in which the two most important elements influencing public cloud adoption are the availability of public cloud infrastructure and the trust put into security and compliance. When asked which scenario would prevail in the next decade most participants opted for the ‘happy cloud’ scenario. In the happy cloud there will be sufficient infrastructure available for everyone and trust, security and compliance issues will all be resolved.
Policy and regulations are inhibitors to cloud adoption. Participants commented that policies and regulations are bigger inhibitors to cloud adoption than security and trust. Regulation is necessary to ensure SLA’s are met, uptime & availability is guaranteed, and data is kept at the place where you want it to be. But too much regulation will inhibit cloud adoption. Legal jurisdiction, compliance rules and privacy regulations need to comply with current technology trends. Many of the participants do not feel that is the case at the moment. The latest EU guidelines aim to address these issues.
The Channel needs to take responsibility. Accountability, portability and broadband availability are three important drivers for the cloud. The general feeling is that the established system integrator community is not picking up on the cloud opportunity. They do not advice on datacenter issues; they do not offer advice on accountability, and overall show a lack of transparency. Though the channel has the relationship (both face to face as well as billing), they seem to be stuck in their current go-to-market operations, and reluctant to move to a different sales model. In addition they are not stepping up on training and educating cloud consultants. Cloud born service providers and cloud companies like Google, Facebook and Salesforce.com currently recruit and retain all the cloud talent.
In general the sentiment was optimistic, though there is still a pretty bumpy road ahead. One participant summarized: “It is a natural imperative to move to the cloud. One does not want to know about the technology. And cloud hides the complexity of IT. As technology matures, cloud adoption will accelerate, and business can focus on their value to the market rather than deal with IT.”
Once cloud training & education becomes more widely available, certification of cloud services becomes the norm, and service providers are held accountable for their cloud offering, the happy cloud scenario may actually become a reality. The EU expects that –if its recommendations are implemented – the EU cloud could represent a EUR 45 billion market by 2020, have an overall cumulative impact on GDP of EUR 957 billion, and will account for 3.8 million jobs. The impact will largely be from businesses that either work more efficiently, or increase productivity.
The session was hosted by Pim Bilderbeek, Partner & Principal Analyst The METISfiles, and Bart van der Horst, Partner iChannel Group, both contributors to GigaOM Pro research.
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