European companies are slowly catching on when it comes to cloud computing. Although it is more of an exception than a rule in Europe, the cloud computing trend is gaining force.
According to Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, the yearly sales of cloud-computing-related services in Europe will rise up to 4.3 percent, which is estimated at US$29.5 billion by 2015 from US$ 24.7 billion of this year.
While cloud computing service sales in Europe are still roughly half when compared to North America, companies such as Amazon.com, Salesforce.com and Microsoft are leading the cloud computing industry. Gartner says these companies will generate US$60 billion in sales this year.
However, European companies and institutions, both small and big, are showing willingness to use cloud computing for their operations. For example, Shutl, a British courier service, the European Space Agency and the Fraunhofer Institute of Germany are using Amazon.com’s cloud computing service.
Amazon.com’s cloud services helped companies like Shutl in its deals with other European businesses, like S.N.C.F., a French railroad company and Bankinter, a Spanish bank. Amazon.com set up a data center in Dublin, Ireland because data privacy laws in Europe prohibit the transfer of information about individuals outside the European Union.
There is a growing trend of outsourcing cloud computing services. Despite EU’s data privacy protection laws, European businesses are embracing cloud computing. The main attraction is cloud computing’s cost saving features. Cloud data centers like those of Amazon.com’s are made of immense computer servers supported by equipments run by businesses that solely deals with wholesale data management. They are designed to avoid costly downtimes typical of servers of smaller businesses.
Companies with a cloud computing stake are now lobbying the EU to review its data protection laws. Companies like Apple, Cisco Systems, Oracle, SAP and Google want are asking EU lawmakers to streamline its data protective laws insisting that cloud computing services will be more beneficial to European businesses.
Arguably, cloud computing is cost-effective and gives more computing power and data storage to companies without buying bulky equipments.