Innovative cloud solutions and services are enabling UK organisations to increase operational efficiency, reduce IT costs and develop a mobile and agile workforce. Looking ahead, cloud will be the computing infrastructure that will process big data analytics, develop and deliver innovative mobile applications, and enable the Internet of Things.  

It would seem that the future for cloud computing is bright. However, there may still be storm clouds on the horizon. To ensure the potential is fully realised, any challenges to cloud adoption and barriers to the market development must be overcome.

Cloud computing has quickly become part of the business vocabulary. Cloud service at the infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS) and software (SaaS) level enable businesses to access and pay for complex computing as a service. These service models allow businesses to flexibly adapt their IT spend based on business needs.

Smart organisations understand and take into account the benefits and risks associated with cloud computing when they choose and deploy applications using standardised cloud services. Most consumer experience of cloud computing is through the use of apps (SaaS). Apps are enabled by a scalable, flexible infrastructure (IaaS or PaaS), which is supported by a range of technologies to ensure that users’ data is secure and available at all times. 

The cloud’s ability to transfer data seamlessly across Europe will drive economic growth and innovations in service delivery in the public and private sectors. However, data localisation, a requirement for data to be physically stored in a single country, could mean that the cloud’s role in driving economic growth across Europe may not be fully realised. Misconceptions and concerns around data integrity and cloud security must be addressed by government and industry working together.

Looking forward there are still challenges that need to be tackled. The future of the European cloud market will not come from taking a rigid regulatory approach for a technology that is still evolving. For the cloud market to grow, innovation and competition must be allowed to flourish, and concerns regarding the trust and security of the cloud must be addressed. If this is allowed to happen the future outlook for the cloud in the UK and EU will be both clear and bright.