Europe lags behind in race to the cloud

Cloud computing
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New research from O'Reilly Media has revealed that Europe is struggling to keep pace with global cloud development.

The company's Evolving Data Infrastructure report also revealed that companies in the region have been slower than others to adopt the necessary tools and capabilities for cutting-edge solutions such as analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

European organizations are aiming to make progress this year by investing heavily in data solutions to catch up. However, persistent skill shortages may continue to derail the region's efforts to emerge as a world leader in future technologies.

Businesses in Europe have been slower to adopt cloud-based data infrastructures than the rest of the world with less than a quarter (24%) having used cloud in production for over four years. Surprisingly as many as a third (32%) of European companies say they are 'just exploring' cloud options and are yet to commit.

Looking to the future

Despite falling behind in cloud adoptions, European organizations broadly align with the rest of the world when it comes to their future priorities. The region has invested heavily in solutions that will help improve accessibility and usability of data with 59 percent building or evaluating solutions in data integration and extract, transform, load (ETL) processes.

When it comes to adopting DevOps modes of working, Europe has been slightly faster than the rest of the world with almost  half (48%)  of the organizations surveyed saying they are using specialized DevOps roles for machine cloud computing services and deployments, compared to 47 percent worldwide.

However, European progress in data infrastructure and analytics is being held back by skill shortages in several key areas. Data science talent is in especially high demand (47%) as well as data engineering (37%) roles. Companies in the region are also finding it slightly higher on average to fill roles in security.

Chief Data Scientist and Program Chair for the Strata Data Conference at O'Reilly Media, Ben Lorica provided further insight on the report's findings, saying:

“Innovation needs a strong foundation. Years of delayed investment and a reliance on legacy infrastructures may be holding European organisations back in the global race to the cloud. Yet, whilst they have some way to go before they achieve parity with their counterparts, it’s positive to see so many investing in data. A strong core of organised, clean and actionable data is crucial for any AI or analytics project. Provided companies become more competitive in attracting the best talent, 2019 may be the year that the continent turns a corner.”