In 2013, Gartner predicted that worldwide hybrid cloud adoption would near 50% by 2017. Research by Interxion and IDG Connect (2014) shows that current cloud adoption in Belgium is just 35%, trailing most other countries in Europe (see illustration).
Judging by the first Belgium & Luxemburg Cloud & Data Center Conference, which brought approximately 500 IT professionals together on the 17th of November at the Anderlecht stadium in Brussels, cloud adoption is starting to go beyond the ‘early adopter’ phase in Belgium.
At the event, Cheops and Interxion jointly presented how companies in Belgium, especially SME’s, can start leveraging the advantages of hybrid cloud solutions, whilst avoiding security, compliance and performance issues. Their combined expertise in cloud and data centre services can help companies address today’s key IT challenges including business continuity, cost management, data protection and IT service & asset management.
An interesting case on how the cloud supports strategic business goals was brought at the event by Yves Lemense, CEO of BTV, a company specializing in technical control and a Cheops customer. He clearly explained how the cloud helps the company to address IT in a more strategic way in order to bring added value to its customers and develop a competitive advantage for the company. A reliable IT environment in the cloud allows BTV to deploy mobile applications and deliver faster reporting and increased service to its customers.
To come back to the question whether or not 2016 will become the year of large-scale cloud adoption in Belgium. As shown in the illustration, the market study predicts a 56% adoption of hybrid cloud by 2016. Based on the strong market demand for hybrid cloud solutions that we’re seeing, and the fact that technical solutions have matured and are now covered by end-to-end service level agreements, we believe this percentage adoption, and more, will proof achievable.
Having said that, there are still a couple of challenges to large-scale hybrid cloud adoption remaining, including cloud readiness of IT departments and in some cases uncertainty about legislation. These issues can however be addressed by utilising expertise of local cloud and managed service providers and their ability to keep business-critical data within country boundaries.
More than ever we see that cloud services have become a real business enabler. Customers find in cloud and managed services a fast way to expand their IT possibilities, without the hassle of big up-front investments. Business continuity and security are key drivers to make the easy step to the cloud today.
Let’s look back after next year’s BeLux Cloud Computing & Data Center Conference to check whether these predictions have come true.