tablet_cloudsThough Europe has made headlines over the last few years about its widespread transition to e-procurement, research firm Gartner recently stated that the EU is expected to linger behind the United States in terms of cloud computing adoption by an estimated 2 years. Multiple factors are contributing to the delay, but there is concern over falling behind on a technology with such well-documented benefits.

Logistics IT recently reported on Gartner’s findings, as well as the causes behind the lag. First, and perhaps most obviously, the economic issues that have plagued Europe over the last several years have now trickled down to stall upgrades in technology. European businesses are proving slow to change as they weather financial uncertainty, but this is putting them behind the curve in a global economy where more and more businesses are turning to the cloud for everything from e-invoicing to inventory management and supply chain management solutions.

The bureaucracy inherent in the EU adds to the problem, mostly due to regulations (or lack thereof), but perhaps even more daunting are the policies of the United States. Europe’s distrust of the Patriot Act, which allows the U.S. government to access private data if it feels there is an imminent threat to the safety and well-being of the country, has made EU businesses more reluctant to entrust their data to U.S.-based cloud service providers. However, similar legislation has been passed in some of the EU’s own member countries and, due to the rapid expansion of cloud computing throughout the United States, many of the world’s best and most experienced providers are based in the U.S.

Gartner expects these uncertainties to continue to delay European cloud adoption, but falling behind in such a fast-paced global economy will only add an extra layer of challenge in the future.

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