Research firm Gartner, Inc. has just released a new report predicting that a convergence of factors, including the ongoing economic downturn, will impede cloud computing adoption rates across the European Union for at least the next two years. That delay will see EU organizations lag well behind their American partners and competitors in cloud migration, according to the report.
Gartner vice president Paolo Malinverno insists that organizations in the EU do understand the benefits of cloud computing. “The opportunities for cloud computing value are valid all over the world, and the same is true for some of the risks and costs,” he says in the press release. “However, some of cloud computing’s potential risks and costs — namely security, transparency and integration — which are generally applicable worldwide, take on a different meaning in Europe.”
The report identifies four main inhibitors of cloud adoption in Europe:
- Diverse (and Changing) Data Privacy Regulations: Call it the “U.S. Patriot Act Effect,” but many EU organizations are still reluctant to trust personal data to any third-party cloud provider with storage facilities in America, where officials can access any records deemed to be a security threat. Many European countries also have strict laws around data privacy.
- Complex B2B Multienterprise Integration and Processes: Some existing business practices and regulations in individual EU countries are already incompatible with each other. Trying to integrate cloud computing across those incompatible platforms is proving to be a big challenge.
- The Slowness and Undesired Effects of Some EU Policies: Although member states draft regulations and policies to reduce internal trade barriers and promote development across the EU, some members take longer than others to legislate those changes. These delays can impede the continent-wide adoption of complex technologies like cloud computing.
- The Investment Hold Caused by the Euro Crisis: Ongoing uncertainty about the euro is causing many EU companies to put technology investments on hold. CEOs and CIOs may see the advantages of cloud for their organizations, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to put up the capital in such a volatile economy.