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Cloud Computing

Why are the world's cloud giants flocking to Northern Europe?

The icy countries of Northern Europe are going through an exciting technology revolution at the moment, particularly when it comes to cloud and data center infrastructure. Industry giants such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services have mounted major investment campaigns in the region over the past few months.

Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft unveiled plans to build two new data centers in the Oslo and Greater Stavanger regions of Norway. The American tech firm is to kickstart the initiative by rolling out support for Azure, before moving on to Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Its cloud services will be in full operation by the end of 2019.

Similarly, two of Microsoft’s biggest competitors are working on similar projects. Last year, Google bought 109 hectares of land in Sweden with the intention of building a data center in the future. Meanwhile, Amazon is planning to build a data center in Scandinavia, and it’s looking to launch a Swedish version of AWS later this year.

Clearly, this is a unique opportunity for Norway, Sweden and other neighbouring countries. Such investment could easily lead to job and financial growth. But the question is, why are these companies so attracted to Northern Europe, and what does this trend mean for the local and global tech industry?

Cloud push

Microsoft has a long history with Norway, having operated in the country since 1990. More than 600 of its employees work across sales, marketing and development there, and it has a network of over 1,700 partners. But in June 2018, the American tech giant took the decision to expand its presence in the country by detailing plans to build a data center in the Stavanger region and another in Oslo.

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Nicholas Fearn

Nicholas is a technology journalist from the Welsh valleys. His work has been featured on Engadget, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, TechRadar, The Next Web, Forbes, Computer Weekly, Computing, Mail Online, The Telegraph and many other media outlets. In addition, he edits Tech Dragons, a publication covering STEM in Wales.

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