Taking advantage of the European Digital Single Market

While the European Union has been in the headlines for a variety of reasons over the past few months, one piece of news largely crept under the radar. On the 6th May 2015 the digital single market strategy (EDSM) was adopted by the European Union (EU) with its 16 component initiatives intended to be delivered by the end of 2016.

What this means (in effect) is that the EU will be looking to make the online world across the continent a more unified and cohesive one. This covers often unseen areas from regulation to taxation as well as making life easier for businesses to sell goods and services online across borders.

The European Union believes that by unifying member countries into the digital single market, up to €415 billion in additional growth could be created. Currently 42% of the global digital market is generated by the member countries of the EU, but only 4% is done across borders within the EU itself. This disparity is what the EDSM is looking to address and rectify with its range of proposed initiatives.

The figures being put forward by the EU highlight that there is a significant opportunity for businesses across Europe once the measures have been completed by the end of 2016. It’s clear that the purchasing of digital goods and services will only increase over the coming years, and in order to take full advantage a truly single market is required.

Yet what does it mean for the colocation market?

With it being easier to share goods and services across borders, it’s going to be important for companies to ensure that they have the infrastructure in place to offer a smooth customer experience. Key to this is that online services, whether they be cloud applications, are easily and quickly accessible. While there are many factors that impact this, having the right high-performance, fast, reliable and secure data centres is crucial. As the market expands, it will be important that these data centres are part of a network that has a geographical spread to ensure low latency for customers, particularly if they are in the finance and media industries where time is critical.

In addition, as businesses move into new markets beyond their home country they will want to work with established technology partners to improve growth. By utilising local knowledge the growth opportunity will be far greater and will drive the expansion the EU envisages. The best way to do this is by tapping into an existing community, which have often developed around core infrastructure areas like data centres. Infrastructure partners that have cultivated this type of community will provide significant advantages to potential customers, who will be better placed to take advantage of the EDSM.

Ultimately, the EDSM is going to have a significant impact on the volume of digital transactions that occur across Europe. This is a positive change and will help the continent to compete with the US and Asia both economically and digitally. By creating a more unified market we will see companies emerging that are able to take advantage of the new market, driving digital innovation across the continent.