Milan, October 19, 2012 – / — According to a new IDC study on behalf of the EU, policy actions aimed at removing barriers to adoption of cloud services would have a strong impact on adoption in the EU, increasing the value of spending on public cloud services from €35.2Bn to €77.7Bn by 2020.

“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, European Government Consulting IDC EMEA. According to the model developed by IDC, if the EU adopts a ‘no intervention’ policy towards cloud adoption, cloud could generate up to €88 billion of contribution to the EU GDP in 2020. However, if the EU follows a proactive a “policy-driven” scenario towards cloud, it would generate up to €250 billion GDP in 2020, corresponding to an increase of €162 billion over the ‘no intervention’ scenario. “We estimate that the cumulative impact for the period 2015-2020 will be €940 billion in the “policy-driven” scenario, compared to €357 billion in the “no intervention” one,” said Giuliana Folco, research vice president, European Industry Solutions.

Barriers to Cloud Adoption

According to IDC’s survey underpinning the report, the main barriers to wider adoption or increased intensity of usage of cloud computing can be summarised as follows:

• Uncertainty about legal jurisdiction and location of one’s data in the cloud

• Worry about the level of security guaranteed in the cloud, and difficulty to assess the trustworthiness of suppliers

• Uncertainty about the business case of fully adopting the cloud model: what is the cost-benefits balance?

• Fear of lock-in with proprietary systems, preventing portability between different vendors, as well as insufficient transparency and control, for example of software changes and guarantees about data access

• Insufficient local support, in local language, slow internet connections, loss of tax incentives on capital spending.

Key Policy Actions

Overcoming these barriers requires regulatory action at the EU level and a determined effort to increase the accountability of cloud vendors. The key policy actions which would create a “cloud proactive” environment in the EU are the following:

• Harmonizing data protection and privacy protection regulation across the EU, so that cloud service providers and users are sure that the same regulations are respected, no matter where the data is

• Clarifying data jurisdiction regulation and providing EU-wide guidelines about which laws apply to data stored in the EU MS

• Promoting common standards and interoperability of cloud systems, so that portability of data and processes between cloud vendors is possible and lock-in in proprietary systems is prevented

• Establishing clear and harmonized principles around cloud service providers’ accountability and liability for security breaches, no matter which country they are from

• Developing EU-wide certification of cloud service vendors on their security and data protection arrangements and compliance with main regulations, to build trust in the offerings; this is specifically requested by the public sector, where ensuring compliance is a priority.

Finally, large and small companies alike pointed out that insufficient and patchy high-speed broadband coverage remains a serious obstacle to full cloud adoption in the EU.

To Learn More

The purpose of this was to contribute to the development and implementation of the European Cloud Computing Strategy. The final and interim reports of the study are available online on the European Commission website on Cloud Computing Policies, here and here

The European Commission has published IDC’s study on “Quantitative Estimates of the Demand of Cloud Computing in Europe and the likely barriers to uptake”, which has provided much of the data behind the EC’s new European Cloud Computing Strategy.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

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All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:
Gabriella Cattaneo
Phone: +39 02 28457.374
Email: gcattaneo[@]

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