EU must overcome cloud barriers, report says

Although the cloud offers companies a lot of promise, not all decision-makers are able to adopt the technology because of regulatory compliance or regional legal issues and basic technical worries. This is especially true in the European Union, which is forced to cater to the demands of 27 member states throughout the continent.

A new study by IDC echoed this sentiment, noting that a policy change regarding removing traditional barriers to the cloud would likely lead to a significant uptick in adoption rates and public cloud spending throughout the EU.

"The migration to a new IT paradigm enabling greater innovation and productivity - the roll out of cloud computing - will generate substantial direct and indirect impacts on economic and employment growth in the EU," said Gabriella Cattaneo, associate vice president of European government consulting at IDC EMEA.

While a "no intervention" policy would help the EU boost its gross domestic product in the next couple of years, a proactive "policy-driven" model for cloud adoption would enable the EU to generate much more GDP through 2020, IDC reported.

Eliminating impediments to the cloud
IDC noted that there are several prominent barriers to cloud adoption, including an overall uncertainty as to where service providers store mission-critical data and applications hosted in the cloud. Other decision-makers are unsure how to assess the level of security placed within a hosted environment or a vendor's credibility.

These concerns were highlighted in a separate study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found that roughly 40 percent of corporate executives are unsure about the viability of third-party service providers while another 39 percent were worried about IT governance when leveraging cloud servers.

Overcoming these problems will take a lot of effort by the EU, as there will need to be a harmonized data protection and privacy policy throughout all member states so decision-makers can be sure all regulations are adhered by, regardless of where solutions are stored. Furthermore, the EU will also need to develop common standards so interoperability between different cloud systems is not a problem.

As the cloud continues to gain momentum throughout the world, leveling the playing field and eliminating long-standing concerns will be a priority, especially within the EU. If governing bodies are not able to reduce these worries, businesses will not be able to remain competitive with international rivals.

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