Cloud Computing

Will AWS & Azure in the UK accelerate adoption and prevent Brexit woes?

It’s hard to get away from the cloud these days. But despite all the hype and stats, there are still more than a few dawdlers and stubborn mules who refuse to jump aboard the bandwagon.

“Certainly there's always the tendency for Western Europe and England specifically to be slightly behind the curve in terms of adoption to the US,” says Chris Kiaie, Managing Director of UK-based channel services provider Oriium during a chat at this year’s IP Expo in London.

“It's actually surprising still how many, I call them traditional reseller models, that say “If it's cloud, I’m not interested, don't talk to me, we don't do cloud, we don't believe in cloud and nor do our customers.””

Nathan Collins, Director of Business Development for Druva EMEA, quips that these cloud-averse companies are “guys who are out of business and they don't even know it yet.”

“We [Druva] walked away from perpetual license sales with the traditional support and maintenance two years ago, never looked back. It’s not even interesting to us. We are a subscription service, have been for quite a while now, and that's where the industry's going as well.”


Brexit & GDPR

This year has seen both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure announce plans to introduce UK-based datacentre locations for their cloud platforms.

“I think AWS and Azure datacentres in England are going to make a huge difference,” says Collins.

It’s not just accelerating adoption of cloud that a stronger AWS & Azure presence will help with. Brexit has dominated press headlines in 2016, while GDPR has gone under the radar, but both could have major repercussions when it comes to data protection, and the ability to use a local cloud avoids potential complications.

“The UK data sovereignty law may not be the same as data sovereignty laws in the EU [post-Brexit], who’s to know, we're going to find out in due course,” says Collins. “[But] it's great to see AWS and Azure are going to be putting data centres in England, that really resolves that situation for us quite nicely.”

“Prior to those announcements, it was a question of “is this going to come prior to Brexit, what does that mean to our customers, is there going to be parity in the law and legislation, is Ireland's more onerous than we want?”

Microsoft have, however, announced significant price hikes for UK customers as a result of the Brexit announcement.


Public doesn’t necessarily mean protected

Aside from laggards and an uncertain regulatory future, both Kiaie and Collins agree that that public clouds have a data protection problem.

“It's still funny how many people you meet who have got big 365 adoption plans with absolutely no data protection plans whatsoever,” explains Kiaie. “Just because the data's in there, it's still your responsibility.”

“There's a big misunderstanding in the market full stop, all the way through, both the tech savvy and the non-tech savvy that availability and data protection are one and the same, and they're absolutely not.”

Kiaie says the likes of AWS and Azure aren’t being more open about this because it’s a ‘prohibiter and complication’ which doesn’t serve the platform providers when one of the cloud’s main draws is ease of adoption.

“I just don't think they're well educated enough because it works for the market to not.”


Also read:
Amazon Web Services: Doing for software what Gutenberg did for books?
Microsoft is done playing catch-up with AWS
GDPR hangs heavy over Europe


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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