Are EU privacy rules to blame for European cloud struggle?

The EU’s regulation on privacy is one of the reasons why European cloud adoption is “at least two years” behind the US, according to analsyts Gartner.

Analysts Gartner, who specialise in cloud computing research, stated in their report that, whilst interest in cloud was very high, the diversity of the European states would be the key factor in “slow” cloud adoption.

Gartner sounded out four “inhibitors” for cloud growth in Europe, with the regulatory processes of the EU garnering various mention. These were changing data privacy regulations, business to business (B2B) multienterprise integration, slowness of some EU policies and the Euro crisis.

The data privacy regulations, which are particularly strong in the EU, was the first inhibitor Gartner discussed. The report noted that “in spite of a great deal of inaccurate information, and single countries pushing nationalistic cloud agendas, there are ways of using cloud more safely”.

Gartner stressed in their report that the Euro crisis was the contributory factor to large investments and big bets not coming through. The report stated that it was “slowing down strategic and game changing decision making”.

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.

David Mitchell Smith, Gartner vice-president, was otherwise optimistic about cloud deployment in Europe, saying: “The interest in cloud is as high in Europe as it is elsewhere in the world.

“While these inhibitors will certainly slow down cloud adoption in Europe, they will not stop it — the potential benefits of cloud are too attractive and the interest in its efficiency and agility are too strong to stall it for long,” he added.

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

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