European telecom operators risk being sidelined in the global cloud computing market as aggressive North American and Asian operators spend billions to build international presence.
New research from Informa’s Telecom Cloud Monitor has found that European operators accounted for only 7% of the US$13.5 billion that operators committed on cloud assets in 2011. North American and Asian operators accounted for 90%, or US$12 billion.
‘European operators are being outgunned in cloud infrastructure,’ said Camille Mendler, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. ‘Although they are working to stimulate local demand, their investment strategy remains cautious.’
Uncertainty around European security and privacy laws, coupled with continuing economic weakness, are gating cloud investment, believes Mendler. The European Commission aims to define a common legal framework for cloud computing in 2012.
‘It’s urgent to defuse concerns about cloud computing in Europe to drive market development,’ said Mendler. ‘European operators are major players in this endeavour with their trusted brands and sales outlets.’
Nevertheless, European operators are supporting local innovation: Half of the cloud services they launched in 2011 relied on European cloud technology vendors.