Understanding and Capitalizing on Regional Differences in Cloud and IoT Adoption

June 15, 2018

The report, Data at the Edge: The Impact of Cloud and IoT on Datacenter Location and Demand, from 451 Research provides insights into how enterprises are adapting to cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), based on input from 700 IT decision makers.

Our first post on the report focused on how cloud computing use is evolving and what this means for colocation providers. The second post focused on IoT and how enterprises are dealing with the increased workloads it creates.

With this post, I want to take a closer look at the differences between the various regions represented in the report as they relate to off-premises cloud adoption and challenges, and IoT adoption and its impact on IT environments and data centers. The report includes participants from the U.S., Western Europe, China and India. Within Western Europe, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and France are represented.

Off-Premises Cloud Hosting Adoption

Overall, participants in the survey had 60 percent of their workloads running off-premises, with 47 percent running in off-premises cloud applications, including hosted private cloud, IaaS and SaaS.

With data privacy and security regulations continuing to evolve, location proved to be an important factor in public cloud hosting selection. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed specified the geographic location for their cloud deployments, with India (80 percent), China (79 percent) and the U.S. (71 percent) being the most location sensitive. Interestingly, countries in Western Europe were less concerned about location.

On average, European countries also had a lower percentage of their workloads running on off-premises cloud applications, with France the lowest among all countries (37 percent). The exception was Italy, where participants had 56 percent of workloads running on off-premise cloud applications, the most of any country.

When it comes to obstacles that slow the cloud adoption process, Chinese firms are more challenged by operational compatibility issues than Western Europe. Public cloud providers in China also have the highest rate of failure to meet service-level agreements, potentially creating opportunities for providers that make the investments in critical infrastructure to meet the service levels the market is increasingly demanding. Enterprises in India cited latency issues as their greatest obstacle, which may contribute to the importance firms in this region place on location.

IoT Adoption and Data Storage

The emergence of Internet of Things creates a new battleground regarding computing capacity location and offers opportunities for colocation facility owners and telecom providers. The study validated that IoT will have a huge impact on enterprise workloads: while only 33 percent of survey participants had broadly deployed IoT, 56 percent said that at least a quarter of their data center and cloud capacity is already supporting IoT.

China (55 percent), the U.S. (40 percent), and India (39 percent) are the leaders in broad IoT deployments. European countries surveyed are moving slower but have strong limited deployments and trial/test projects.

For example, only 19 percent of participants from Italy indicated they have broad IoT deployments, but 50 percent are in trial/test or late planning stages. This indicates Italy, with its high-dependence on off-premises computing and storage, is a fertile market for colocation providers that can deliver the local capacity these enterprises will need as they advance from plans and limited deployments to broad deployments.

The country with the greatest anticipated IoT impact is India where, in two years, 62 percent of participants project that 51-100 percent of their data center and/or cloud capacity will be utilized to support IoT initiatives. At the other end of the spectrum, only 40 percent of U.K. participants expect greater than 50 percent of their capacity to be used to support IoT in two years. Participants in China are the most aggressive in using colocation as an IoT data storage environment.

Key Takeaways from the Survey Data

Clearly the movement of workloads off-premises and the adoption of IoT are global trends that are having significant impact in virtually all regions. Nevertheless, there are differences by country in the the issues organizations face as they increase their dependence on off-premises storage and computing as well as in pace at which IoT is advancing.

While Western Europe currently lags other regions in broad IoT deployments, this does not necessarily translate into a lower long-term adoption rate. Plans and limited deployments are in place that should eventually close the gap between Western Europe and other regions and those markets represent significant opportunities for colocation providers today.

Understanding how adoption rates, preferences and the issues associated with cloud computing and IoT vary by region can help colocation and other service providers tailor their offerings and their marketing more effectively. For more information, read the full report Data at the Edge: The Impact of Cloud and IoT on Datacenter Location and Demand.

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