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Public cloud emerges as Europe's least popular off-premise IT deployment method

Easynet research investigating European IT decision-maker buying trends suggests private cloud rules the roost

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: CW Europe: CW Europe – July 2015 Edition

Public cloud has been declared Europe’s least favourite source of off-premise services, based on the feedback of 660 of the continent’s IT decision-makers.

The poll, commissioned by managed services company Easynet, suggests cloud computing is now the IT deployment model of choice for 74% of European enterprises, with nearly half of users (47%) opting for private cloud environments for their apps and workloads.

On-premise hosting emerged as the second-most popular approach, winning 26% of the vote, while the hybrid cloud model was name-checked by nearly one in five respondents (17%) as their preferred way of doing things.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Easynet’s unified communications, hosting and cloud services division managing director, Phil Grannum, said while private cloud rules the roost right now, this is likely to pave the way for wider hybrid cloud adoption as time goes on.

“The world is going to be totally hybrid because we have loads of legacy applications that just aren’t ready to be virtualised and moved into any kind of proper cloud environment, and they will decrease over time,” he said.

“It will also be a balance between what organisations need from an availability, security and access point of view – in terms how local those apps need to be. Do they want their employees to access them from anywhere in the world, quickly and securely? This will dictate if they will require a public or a private cloud.”

Despite the role public cloud has to play in this vision, the deployment model polled poorly with respondents, with just 11% saying they used offerings of this nature.

Grannum said there were several reasons why European organisations are reluctant to entrust their data to the public cloud.

Many of these are to do with data security concerns, particularly with regard to the interpretation of the US Patriot Act, in terms of how much access this could potentially provide the US government to their data.

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Data security and privacy concerns were cited by 62% and 48% of respondents, respectively, as major barriers to cloud adoption.

Fear of outages, and the impact one might have on the ability for companies to continue doing business, is also another big concern for European IT decision-makers, added Grannum.   

“The availability of the public cloud vendors hasn’t been fantastic, and there have been a number of reported major outages that have affected Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services previously, although I do believe that is improving,” he said.

“We have spoken to a customer, though, that cited a three-day outage of Azure as off-putting for them, particularly from the point of view of moving their business-critical data to the cloud.”

Industry cloud adoption trends

The results of the survey also pointed to some differences in approach to cloud adoption in different verticals, with organisations operating in the IT and computing space most likely to opt for a hybrid approach to cloud.

Financial services firms, moreover, were more inclined to deploy private clouds, while government organisations were revealed to be the most reluctant to adopt cloud in any form.

Concerns about data regulation are a major inhibitor to public cloud adoption, Grannum admitted. “A lot of public sector organisations are confused about data regulations and the government’s best practice for the security side of thing," he said.

“I don’t know many organisations that have adopted a pure public cloud approach – whether they can or can’t is down to interpretation, and not many of them are willing to be the first to try it."

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