Europe two years behind US in cloud adoption, says Gartner

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Many European companies may be moving to cloud now but they’re two years behind America in terms of cloud adoption, according to research house Gartner.

The analysts have put the difference down to a wide range of problems, including the diversity of Europe’s 44 different nations, the recession and Euro crisis, as well as European privacy rules relating to data protection.

Gartner elaborated upon these “inhibitors” and commented on each one. The report stressed that there were ways of using cloud safely, despite worries about privacy.

Similarly, Gartner noted complex business-to-business (B2B) issues related to Europe’s diversity, stating that because cloud computing was a fast growing business it will subsequently slow down the productivity of those who want to offer cloud services across Europe.

Regarding the EU in general, Gartner commented that while the EU legislative process was extremely secure, it was time-inefficient because of it and that “there are plenty of examples of this sort of delay”, citing e-invoicing: a catch-22 situation.

Gartner also gave credence to the Euro crisis, noting that “increasing uncertainty about the Euro is causing major investments to be put on hold…slowing down strategic and game changing decision making”.

Paolo Maliverno, Gartner vice president, said: “The opportunities for cloud computing value are valid all over the world, and the same is true for some of the risks and costs”.

“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,” he added.

Research from Gartner earlier this month prophesised that the personal cloud would overtake the PC as the main computing device by 2014, so the importance of this report cannot be understated.

Is this worrying news for European businesses? Does this mean that cloud providers will just have to plough on as they are because of the EU’s stringent privacy laws?

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