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In an increasingly cloud-first world, data security is priority number one

Security remains one of the top priorities for IT executives and decision makers from US organizations investing in Europe, according to our new study released by 451 Research. The report, ‘Gateway to Europe, challenges and considerations for US organizations seeking a passage into and across Europe’, found that 72% of businesses believe security is either critically important or very important.

No doubt, much of this concern has to do with the recent global focus on Europe’s data security laws and the implementation of the GDPR. Compliance to a new market’s laws and regulations is, of course, fundamental to any expansion success. A breach will result in the loss of customers’ trust and goodwill, and with the GDPR’s potentially crippling fines as an added threat, it isn’t surprising that companies are making sure to cross their t’s and dot their i’s before entering the EU.

Even if we disregard GDPR, security has become crucial to all parts of a business in our increasingly digital world. That means when landing on the continent, companies must evaluate if they have the right functions in-house to properly manage security requirements, or if they are better suited to handing some security functions over to a third party, from the data center to the network.

Security covers everything from the perimeter fencing of a data center estate and physical access to the technology, right through to the data supply chain - which includes the way that data is collected, stored, analysed and used for insights and actions across the business. These have been key considerations for a long time, ever since data started going digital. But security has become more and more important as companies move progressively onto the cloud.

Our study, which surveyed 250 US-based IT executives and decision makers across financial services, media & digital content, enterprise, SaaS, cloud and managed services industries, found that in two years, all industries plan to have more technologies in the public cloud, expecting to see about a 10% increase. Only 21.6% are using little or no cloud today, and 30.4% are currently cloud-first for all new applications.

Complexity alone means that the majority of organizations entering Europe for the first time will start by focusing on just one cloud platform. But 14.4% of companies are truly multi-cloud with seamless interoperability amongst applications, a number that will only keep increasing.

Organizations should be thinking about their multi-cloud future and the requirements that will come for seamless connectivity across platforms and environments. This means thinking about security.

As the study makes clear, European expansion can pose many more challenges than companies may have been experienced when expanding across the US. Even selecting the right partners for expansion can be difficult. Identifying suitable colocation providers, for example, is one of the main challenges organizations surveyed say they face.

Companies that do put careful consideration into choosing a European support network can benefit, however, by freeing up time and setting a solid foundation for the company to focus more on its European business challenges.

With our pan-European data center footprint and 20 years of experience, we can be the perfect partner for your expansion into Europe. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help, or learn more on our Gateway to Europe page. You can read more about our study here.