The European Commission acknowledges that Europe must become more ‘cloud active’ to stay competitive in the global economy. And while public cloud adoption in the EU is increasing, it is fragmented in some areas and lags the US by some 3- 5 years. IDC’s recent study “Cloud in Europe: Uptake, Benefits, Barriers, and Market Estimates” assesses the European cloud market, identifies key cloud barriers, and makes straightforward recommendations on how to remove them.
IDC surveyed European business users and consumers and discovered that a full 64% of EU businesses currently use the cloud, and an additional 25% are planning or thinking about it. Those that use cloud applications now, want to expand.
So what’s stopping the cloud from colossal growth in Europe? The research uncovered 12 key obstacles ranging from data residency and security issues to slow performance and limited tax incentives for capital spending. But the majority of survey respondents (62.2%) cited four specific barriers, primarily related to data control:
1. Legal jurisdiction: Where the does the service reside? Where does the data reside? What if I don’t want my data stored in a specific country?
2. Security and data protection: Who is responsible for security, data protection, and backups? What happens if something goes wrong?
3. Trust: How do I tell which services are reliable? Who guarantees data integrity and availability?
4. Data access and portability: Once I sign a contract, how much interoperability will I have? Can I interact with different services?
Data control is the common denominator, and Europe must take steps to empower data controllers if it wants to maximize cloud adoption benefits. Those surveyed offer clear guidance on what the EU could do, including enacting specific rules on service provider accountability; guaranteeing application and data portability between services; implementing an EU-wide security certification program; clarifying and harmonizing data residency and legal jurisdiction regulations; and fostering EU-wide standardization of cloud services.
These are great suggestions. But aside from regulatory policy changes that could take a long time to deliver, the group also states that demonstrated current success by peers and strong evidence of cloud benefits would greatly enhance adoption. This type of success is possible today with a cloud data protection gateway that allows European cloud users to control their data completely when using cloud SaaS applications. The PersepcSys PRS (Privacy, Residency and Security) Server lets data controllers configure their cloud systems with data protection protocols that overcome the primary residency and security obstacles that are holding Europe back.
PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud data protection solutions that enable mission-critical cloud applications to be adopted throughout the enterprise. PerspecSys removes the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated companies across the world by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer’s network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. Based in Toronto, PerspecSys Inc. is a privately held company backed by investors that include Intel Capital and GrowthWorks. For more information please visit www.perspecsys.com or follow on Twitter @perspecsys.
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