European CIOs Invest in Hybrid Cloud to Accelerate Digital Transformation

Marek Moszynski


Cloud computing continues to grow at a steady pace across Europe. IDC predicts that the EMEA public cloud market will expand 26% over the next four years. Hybrid cloud is driving public cloud adoption and is the catalyst for much of European enterprises’ digital transformation. In fact, a CIO Research survey showed that over half of CIOs and IT managers in France, Germany and the UK identified hybrid cloud as the most common cloud adoption model.

What we have seen from customers in our 62 Equinix data centers across EMEA, and heard at conferences such as this year’s Cloud Computing Expo in Paris, is that the enterprise cloud ecosystem grows along with a CIO’s trust! The following factors are influencing greater “cloud confidence” and adoption in the region, specifically at the digital edge where there are higher concentrations of users, applications, data and clouds:

Bigger and faster telco links
The telecom infrastructure is improving throughout Europe, with carriers providing higher bandwidth links, and 5G aiming to replace wired networks at industrial levels. The next generation of mobile networks will provide higher resiliency and performance, and enable enterprises to more quickly and easily offload on-premises compute and storage capabilities to the public cloud.

Flexibility and freedom to choose
The ability to start with one cloud service provider (CSP) and then switch to another on demand also encourages enterprise cloud adoption. Whether “bursting” to leverage cloud resources as needed, choosing the best cloud for a specific workload or application, or enabling redundancy, the agility companies gain from leveraging multiple cloud services and providers is compelling.

Data residency and compliance
Increasingly, European CSPs will guarantee that data will stay in country. In addition, many companies are gearing up to comply with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) Privacy Compliance Guide by 2018. This will help allay fears over data being moved from the county of origin in the cloud.


European cloud adoption obstacles

Security has been a global issue hovering over cloud computing since its inception. Today, enterprise chief security officers (CSOs) are increasingly concerned around identity authentication management and controlling how users access data in the cloud. However, the CIO Research survey shows that recently European CIOs are trusting CSPs more and more, with half naming security as a primary reason for adopting cloud. In fact, we hear that many CIOs and CSOs believe the security, user and data management controls and availability levels of CSPs are higher than what their company could achieve on its own, or could ever afford.

Because of this increased cloud confidence, the first step toward migration for many European enterprises is creating hybrid infrastructures for backup and disaster recovery of data in the cloud. They replicate what they have on-premises or in a private cloud on a public cloud. Then, over time, they begin to take advantage of new public cloud services, typically for new applications.

European cloud ecosystems

The cloud ecosystems within Equinix data centers throughout EMEA are also growing, enabling enterprises to leverage the flexibility and choice they require to build hybrid cloud infrastructures. These ecosystems include network and cloud service providers and managed service providers and integrators, including Adelius, AWS, F5, Microsoft Azure, NetApp and SCC Flowline Technologies, just to name a few.

The Equinix Cloud Exchange creates hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures among a variety of cloud providers (see diagram below), allowing for the agility, flexibility and security that most CIOs require. In addition, physical proximity to numerous cloud providers enables low-latency interconnection to and among cloud service peers for greater application performance at the digital edge.


Get started on planning your hybrid cloud migration at the digital edge by reading the IOA Playbook.