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1 CBI Product Factsheet: Cloud Computing in Europe CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloves in Germany 1

2 Introduction The European market for cloud computing is growing very rapidly. The best opportunities for service providers in developing countries to enter the market involve either developing your own cloud solutions and offering them in Europe (SaaS), or offering cloud development services for a European partner (classic outsourcing). In general, the more specialised your services/solutions are, the more opportunities you will have. Focusing on a niche market can also improve your chances on the European market. Product description Product definition Cloud computing is the provision of infrastructure, platform or software as a web-based service (Figure 1). Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): the delivery of computer infrastructure as a web-based service. Instead of purchasing servers, storage, data centre space or network equipment, clients subscribe to those resources as a variable-cost service. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. Platform as a Service (PaaS): the delivery of a computing platform as a web-based service. This typically includes an operating system, a programming language, an execution environment, a database and a web server. Software as a Service (SaaS): the delivery of software applications/solutions as a web-based service, for example horizontal business applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Content Management (CM), Human Resource Management (HRM) or finance and accounting. The advantage is that companies do not have to purchase software and do not need to buy and maintain IT hardware to run the software on. They pay on a pay-as-you-use basis. Furthermore, implementation is much faster and functionality updates can be done easily. Fig 1 Cloud computing structure SaaS PaaS IaaS Source: Peergroup ITO/BPO by CBI Important benefits of cloud computing that distinguish it from traditional outsourcing are self-service (clients can order/create new services online), scalability (the infrastructure should be virtually infinitely scalable) and pay per use. Furthermore, the cloud model delivers the tools and possibilities to work from any place at any time and therefore facilitates working from nearshore/offshore locations. Cloud computing services/solutions can be managed within a company (in-house) or outsourced, which means that it is delegated to external service providers. Outsourcing can take place: Onshore: to providers within the same country (onshoring). Nearshore: to foreign providers within the region (nearshoring). Offshore: to foreign providers outside the region, typically overseas (offshoring). Product specifications CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 2

3 Cost reduction For European companies, the main reason to adopt cloud computing is to save costs. Cost reduction is also the main reason to outsource cloud services/solutions. This means that cloud service providers have to be very clear and transparent about their pricing. Focus on competitive pricing while maintaining high quality services. Be transparent in your pricing: avoid hidden costs. Improvement in quality Another very important reason for European companies to adopt cloud computing is the improvement in the quality of the processes that are moved to the cloud. Furthermore, the benefits that cloud computing offers are growing each year, in a variety of categories, including higher availability, geographic reach, cost savings and business continuity. Give examples of how your cloud services/solutions can improve the quality of the outsourced processes/services. Listen carefully to your customers ideas, problems and preferences in order to assure good quality services. Industry expertise and reputation When selecting a service provider for cloud services/solutions, relevant industry expertise and track record are very important selection criteria for European companies. They are increasingly looking for specialised service providers with expertise in specific services or industries. European companies also increasingly require a try-before-you-buy experience or a chance to experiment with online cloud demo s, before purchasing cloud services/solutions to get confidence that the solution and the provider meet their operational needs. Specialise in a specific vertical, horizontal or niche market, as this increases opportunities to enter the market. By specialising in what your company does particularly well and by focusing on doing that better than anyone else, you can truly add value and have a unique selling proposition that many service providers do not have. Be sure to emphasise your specific expertise in your marketing activities, and enhance your message with references. Have customer testimonials about the quality of your services, the ease of the transition and/or the benefits your services realised as this will prove your expertise and enhance your reputation. Offer potential buyers a pilot project or demo to demonstrate your capabilities and to build trust. Data security and privacy Data security remains one of the most important challenges in cloud computing. Research by Eurostat identifies the risk of a security breach as a factor limiting the use of cloud computing services for 57% of European enterprises in These concerns form a threat to offshore cloud service providers as data security is generally perceived as being of an inferior quality in offshore locations than onshore or even nearshore. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 3

4 Provide information about your company s data security and privacy measures. Invest in a secure, reliable infrastructure in order to convince potential European buyers that there is no more risk associated with using your services/solutions than there is with using onshore providers. Consider applying for security standards (e.g. the ISO series) to support your commitment to data security, or use a large cloud service provider s environment for your cloud application. Be sure that your operations comply with European data protection frameworks. See the requirements section for requirements regarding data security. If you decide to offer SaaS solutions directly to the market, team up with a reputable IaaS/PaaS provider (preferably in your European target country) that has all the necessary security credentials. By doing so, you comply with European legislation as the IaaS/PaaS provider has to take care of many compliance issues related to the European market, including data security and privacy. Furthermore, you eliminate potential doubts companies might have regarding data security. Avoid data security and privacy sensitive markets. These are generally regulated industries and industries where personal/corporate data is used in large quantities, for example finance and banking, healthcare, aviation or telecommunication. Integration capability The complexity of integration of cloud solutions with in-house solutions and the compatibility with other solutions is another important challenge in cloud computing. The integration capability of a cloud service/solution is therefore an important requirement when selecting a service provider. Offer cloud services/solutions that can easily be integrated with other tools/solutions. Select for example technologies that are based on open standards (a standard that is publically available and of which the specifications can generally be implemented on a royalty-free basis). Offer support in the implementation and integration of your cloud services/solutions. Flexibility Flexibility in the customisation of the cloud service/solution and flexibility in contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are other important requirements of European companies regarding cloud computing. The key areas in contracts and Service Level Agreements where flexibility can be brought into are: pricing, contracting terms (length, review), change management process, additional services, scope, service levels and technology change. Be flexible in the customisation of your service/solution: adapt your service/solution to the specific needs of your customer. Be flexible in your contracting and Service Level Agreements. For example in the length of the contract and in the additional services that can be included in the contract. What is the demand for cloud computing in Europe? Considerable market share remains to be gained North America comprises the largest share of cloud computing spending (59%) from 2013 to 2016, followed at a distance by Europe (24%) according to research by Gartner. According to a study by Eurostat, only 19% of all European companies were using cloud computing services in Insufficient knowledge of cloud computing has been identified as the main reason for not using the cloud. As knowledge about cloud computing increases, and as more European companies are moving to the cloud, European cloud adoption is expected to increase in the coming years. This means that considerable market share remains to be gained. Adoption of cloud computing varies greatly The adoption of cloud computing varies greatly amongst European countries and according to economic activity. The highest share of companies using the cloud are located in Western and Northern Europe (e.g. Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), whereas cloud adoption is lowest in Eastern European countries (Figure 2). European companies use cloud computing primarily for services (66%), file storage (53%), database CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 4

5 Finland Iceland Italy Sweden Denmark Norway Ierland Netherlands United Croatia Belgium Slovakia Malta Czech Estonia Slovenia Spain Lithuania Luxembourgh Portugal France Austria Macedonia Germany Cyprus Bulgaria Greece Hungary Latvia Poland Romania hosting (39%) and office software (34%). The Information & Communication sector is the frontrunner in cloud adoption (45%), followed at some distance by the sectors covering professional, scientific and technical activities (27%), administrative & support service activities (20%) and real estate activities (20%). Figure 2: Use of cloud computing services in European companies (2014), in % 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Source: Eurostat Start by targeting companies in Northern and Western European countries, as cloud adoption is highest in these countries. Focus on providing cloud computing services/solutions for one or two horizontal and/or vertical markets. European companies are more likely to work with cloud service providers with expertise in specific services or industries. Software as a Service dominates the market Spending on cloud services is dominated by Software as a Service (SaaS). This is largely because the greatest share of customer demand is at the application level. The second largest category is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), fuelled by the growth in cloud storage. The share of Software as a Service is expected to grow in the coming years, whereas Infrastructure is expected to decrease. Tip: Focus on Software as a Service (SaaS). In addition to representing the largest market share, it is also the most suitable for cloud service providers in developing countries according to industry experts. This is because Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) need very high investments which can generally only be made by large providers. For example, you could develop an application, install it on an environment (IaaS or PaaS) for a large provider and offer the application as a cloud service (SaaS). Increase your chances on the European market by giving your application a European look and feel in terms of language and interface. Nearshoring more popular than offshoring European companies prefer to outsource services to providers within the same country (onshoring). When outsourcing to foreign service providers, nearshore locations are preferable to offshore locations, because of their proximity, linguistic and cultural similarities and the presence of little or no time difference. Popular nearshore destinations include Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania and Romania. However, as prices in nearshore countries are rising, service providers in these countries are becoming less competitive for offshore service providers. India, China and Malaysia are in general the most important offshoring destinations for European companies that are outsourcing (or seeking to outsource) services. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 5

6 Limit the possible disadvantages of being offshore by providing excellent means of communication, availability in the required time zone and good security and privacy measures. Differentiate yourself from onshore and nearshore providers to remain competitive and emphasise how you are different in your marketing message. Do not only compete on price but analyse what other advantages you can offer to European buyers. For example access to skills, specialised industry expertise or 24 hour round operations. Partner with nearshore service providers, thus responding to the desire of Eastern European companies to find less expensive destinations. Many service providers in developing countries have yet to recognise this opportunity. Benchmark your competitiveness against onshore and nearshore service providers and analyse their best practices. Use your competitors as resources to help you discover what they are doing right and sometimes also what they are doing wrong. It can help you identify ways to differentiate yourself from them. For information on trade statistics and macro-economic indicators in the European outsourcing market in general, refer to CBI s Trade Statistics for Outsourcing. Which trends offer opportunities on the European market for cloud computing? Continuous technological changes The continuous stream of technological changes and inventions is changing the demand for cloud services. For example, technological trends for 2015 include hybrid solutions/hybrid cloud environments (a combination of private and public clouds), application migration, big-data processing, disaster recovery and container technology. Stay abreast of the newest technological developments in the cloud market, as this will provide you with a competitive advantage. Develop cloud services/solutions that are innovative and that can be easily integrated with other services/solutions, thus allowing you to operate with multiple vendors in the IT environment of your potential customer. Do not expect IT departments to abandon their existing infrastructure before its lifecycle has ended, especially when budgets are tight. Success depends on understanding the technological and economic lifecycles of your customers, and identifying disruptive technologies that can help them build a business case for cloud migration. Skills shortage The increasing demand for cloud computing services/solutions has generated a shortage in cloud-ready IT workers in Europe, especially in Western Europe. Lack of training, certification and experience are the top three reasons why cloud positions in European countries are not filled. The European Commission estimates that the shortage of skilled cloud computing staff is expected to grow to more than 800 thousand by Follow emerging developments in cloud technology closely, and build up capability in these technologies. Focus on Western European countries, as the shortage of skills tends to be highest in these countries. Combine in your marketing message the availability of your cloud computing skills with the lower cost of these skills (if applicable). For information on outsourcing market trends in the European market in general, refer to CBI s Trends for Outsourcing. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 6

7 With which requirements should cloud computing services/solutions comply in order to be allowed on the European market? Musts EU data protection regulation Although the EU has had a Data Protection Directive since 1995, the vast technological changes that have occurred over time have necessitated stronger, more universal regulations. In 2015, the Data Protection Directive was rewritten, and the new version will be implemented in all 28 countries within the European Union. Although it will not take effect until 2017, service providers should already be prepared. Under the current directive, any data by which an individual can be identified is the sole responsibility of the data controller (the owner of the data). Under the new regulations, any company or individual processing the data will also be held responsible for its protection. This includes cloud providers and other third parties. Tip: This article from Computerworld UK provides additional information on the new regulations. Additional requirements ISO and ISO is currently developing standards for information security controls for cloud computing services (27017) and privacy aspects of cloud computing (27018). These standards supplement the ISO security standard and are expected to be published in Tip: Follow the developments on the ISO and standards as they are expected to become important for cloud service providers. Refer to for more information. For information on buyer requirements in the European outsourcing market in general, refer to the CBI document on Buyer Requirements for Outsourcing. What competition do I face on the European cloud computing market? Competition on the European cloud computing market is based on the same aspects as competition on the outsourcing market in general. Therefore, refer to CBI s Competition for Outsourcing for more insights into the competitive field. Also refer to CBI s Top 10 Tips for Doing Business with European Buyers for tips on how to prepare your first contact with European buyers or how to improve your existing relationship with European buyers and gain competitive edge. What do the trade channels and interesting market segments look like in the European market for cloud computing? Subcontracting by European service providers Subcontracting by European service providers is seen as the most realistic market-entry channel for cloud service providers in developing countries. Subcontracting means that service providers subcontract work that has been contracted to them by end user companies to other parties. In this particular case they subcontract cloud services/solutions. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 7

8 Make a clear choice for a particular business model. So either develop your own cloud solutions, or focus on cloud development services for a n European partner. Target service providers of which the size is in line with your own capacity. In addition, try to focus on companies that serve the same industries as your company to increase your chances to find a potential match. Attend relevant industry events in your target country to meet potential partners. Furthermore, you also learn more about their business culture. Interesting trade events include the Cloud World Forum in the United Kingdom, Cloud Expo Europe in Germany and the International Conference on Cloud Computing (at different locations worldwide). Use industry associations to find potential customers in Europe. Examples include Eurocloud (the association for the European cloud computing industry) and such national Information Technology associations as Ukita in the United Kingdom, Bitkom in Germany and Nederland ICT in the Netherlands. Other interesting sources of potential customers include national outsourcing associations (e.g. the National Outsourcing Association in the United Kingdom, Outsourcing Verband in Germany and Platform Outsourcing in the Netherlands). Have good promotion material available, such as a professional company website and a company leaflet. Also invest in Search Engine Marketing so that potential customers are able to find your company online. Direct sales to end users You can also try to sell your cloud services/solutions directly to end-user companies. Moreover, the transaction costs for searching, evaluating, integrating and monitoring cloud services are expected to fall due to new electronic market places. This will open up a new distribution channel for cloud service providers in the long term. However, you need to have profound end market knowledge. Research the end market segment that you want to focus on to know how to effectively market your company. Look for potential leads in the field of cloud services/solutions on online outsourcing market places such as UpWork and Elance (freelancers) and Ariba and Hubwoo (corporate). Although they generally concern smaller projects for freelancers and individuals, they could lead to potential pilot projects for companies as well. Furthermore, they are a cheap marketing tool. Intermediaries European service providers and end users of cloud services can either be approached directly, or through an intermediary. A local contact person is always an advantage, especially for providers in developing countries that are located in less known outsourcing destinations. Intermediaries (e.g. consultants/matchmakers or sales/marketing representatives) can therefore be another important channel through which to establish contact with potential subcontractors or end users of cloud services. For information on market channels and segments in the European outsourcing market in general, refer to CBI s Trade Channels and Segments for Outsourcing. In addition, refer to the CBI document on Finding Buyers for tips on locating buyers in the European market. What are the end-market prices for cloud computing? Price is the main reason for companies in Europe to consider outsourcing cloud services/solutions to companies in developing countries. As salaries form a large share of the costs of IT services, large savings can be achieved by outsourcing cloud computing services/solutions to countries with lower wages. The average annual salary of a software developer in Western Europe for example, lies between 36,000 and 50,000. Software developers salary levels in nearshore/offshore destinations are usually significantly lower. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 8

9 Tip: Research the average salaries for software developers in your European target country. One useful source is Payscale, a global database of salary profiles. In your marketing activities, be sure to emphasise potential salary savings. Useful sources CIO technology magazine, has editions in almost every European country. Computerworld technology magazine that has editions in various European countries. ITO News outsourcing news portal from Central and Eastern Europe. Public Technology practical content to purchasers, vendors and analysts in the cloud computing industry, go to cloud. Sourcingfocus sourcing industry portal. For all CBI s outsourcing related market intelligence documents, go to CBI s Market Intelligence Platform for Outsourcing. CBI Market Intelligence Product Factsheet Cloud Computing in Europe 9

10 CBI Market Intelligence P.O. Box AC The Hague The Netherlands This survey was compiled for CBI by Globally Cool in collaboration with CBI sector expert Laszlo Klucs Disclaimer CBI market information tools: December 2015

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