The Nordic region is, overall, mature when it comes to cloud adoption with recent research from a variety of sources suggesting a footprint of around 50%. However, barriers remain for some businesses with the journey to cloud not always easy and the benefits of moving to cloud could still be articulated more clearly. Because the conversation has not yet evolved sufficiently, strategic use of cloud still lags in the rest of Europe.
Industry-wise there are strong differences in Nordic cloud adoption. The financial sector remains less mature in the Nordics than within neighboring regions, but manufacturing is a strong cloud adopter showing strong maturity.
Barriers to adoption
Security within cloud remains a concern for industry within the Nordics. Managing data controls, access and regulations requires expert knowledge and skills and with a large SME sector, some organizations lack the in-house skills to take on this challenge.
Feedback I often receive from organizations around cloud is that conversations are still focused on infrastructure rather than business value and benefit. Making a shift to better explain the benefits of moving to cloud would move the dial and encourage more organizations to research and take the leap. Understanding automation, Dev Ops, and allaying security concerns would go a long way to improving uptake.
Data Sovereignty and privacy concern
In the last 15-18 years, the Nordics and the rest of the EU have become dependent on companies outside the EU to handle their data infrastructure on the cloud. To place the most valuable assets, such as data, outside of European jurisdiction impedes the potential growth of cloud consumptions. This explains the crave for GAIA-X, and cloud Data Sovereignty in the Nordics, and the rest of Europe.
Acknowledging that the GAIA-X project (co-founded by Atos) has a key role to play in the creation of the next generation of the global data economy, several industries are collaborating to make available GAIA-X user cases and requirements.
Moves in the right direction
From pay-as-you-use commercial models, to scalable on-demand and highly available infrastructures and configurable platforms it is easy and getting easier to move to cloud. These days, powerful compute capability can be bought online in minutes, rather than months, that alone is making any cumbersome provisioning governance a thing of the past, and obsolete. In principle, a one-person business can gain fast access to the same level of compute power and functionality that might previously have been restricted to the largest enterprises. Given that most of the Nordics SME private businesses have less than 50 employees, this access model provides a fast and simple way for the Nordics entrepreneurs to start benefitting from cloud technologies and levelling the digital playing-field.
Nordics as a growing center for cloud services
Despite being slightly behind the rest of Europe in cloud maturity, the Nordic region is a great and growing hub for cloud services in Europe. The low costs of clean energy as well as its stable infrastructure and politics makes it a perfect region for hyperscalers and other providers to set up a base. For compliance and regulatory reasons, it is also a safe bet for meeting security and privacy requirements with rights guaranteed.
This trend in growth is likely to continue with the added advantage of the Nordics being a front-runner in carbon reduction and sustainability. These elements make it an extremely attractive proposition for providers who are keen to give their customers an energy efficient service.
What does the future hold?
Cloud adoption and maturity will increase across the region if providers and businesses continue to have the strategic, business value conversations and demonstrate that security and data protection can be guaranteed. As growth in cloud continues, so too will the Nordics economic growth and potential – reason for us all to make a shift and get cloud right.
The future is brighter in the cloud!