The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Clearing Up… Slowly!

Posted by riverbedtest on March 18, 2011

Today's guest blogger is Christian Lorentz. Christian, who is based in Munich, Germany, is the Product Marketing and Alliance Manager for Riverbed in EMEA (Europe, The Middle East, and Asia).  What follows are his impressions (and a few beautiful photographs) from his visit this week to the X-Days conference in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Xdays What was considered nothing more than marketing hype here in Europe 12 months ago, is starting to turn into reality.  I participated in X-Days, the largest IT show in Switzerland this week, and I saw a lot of interest from enterprises of all sizes in using cloud services.

At the X-Days conference, the large vendors' messages focused on efficiency, agility and other cloud Interlaken sunny characteristics. Why? In the last several months, many CIOs in Europe claimed that they have begun embracing the cloud before their IT organizations did. However, if you take a closer look at what they have achieved so far, you’ll see that all they've done is begin to consolidate services, streamline processes, and perhaps outsource some of their non-critical applications.  This is far from what the visionaries call the cloud. These are just the first steps toward the private cloud, but the journey to the public cloud remains difficult. Why?

In Europe, cloud services offerings are not as rich as they are in the US. Most global vendors follow the one-size-fits-all model and try to sell the same services across all horizontals, all verticals, and all countries. Even though there are no longer customs restrictions  between European countries anymore, there are still different legal requirements between different countries and verticals. For example,Interlaken cloudy Switzerland and France are very restrictive on the location where the enterprise data can be saved. Therefore, using Cloud Storage Services  that are based in Ireland, where the majority of the data centers are based, is unimaginable in these countries. The lack of local, in-country players who understand the requirements of a specific vertical or horizontal market so that they can propose the correct service is slowing down the adoption of the cloud throughout Europe.

Many IT organizations are lobbying the EC to get an harmonization of the services but this is very unlikely to happen soon, and so Europe will stay on the back seat of the “cloud shuttle” for a while.

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