The COVID pandemic and the outbreak of war in Ukraine, has made it very clear that Europe needs to have control over the resources it relies upon. Having such control could save it from unpredictable price rises along with intermittent or even completely cut-off supply.
When it comes to the cloud, this message seems to be only partially getting through. Despite this, there are growing calls for Europe to gain control of its own cloud network.
The State of Cloud Today
Given the many promised outcomes of the cloud, Europe’s leaders would do well to get on board now to reap the rewards later. It’s said the cloud will be a more democratic, flexible and cost-effective facilitator of growth.
The need for real alternatives to the cloud leaders AWS, Microsoft and Google is becoming increasingly apparent. Issues like vendor lock-in and regulatory breaches, along with major outages, are causing many more people to take issue with these near-monopolies. The EU monopoly cops even recently spoke up against Microsoft Azure.
And that’s not all. Arguments brewing among the leading providers – with Google calling out Microsoft for anti-competitive practices – indicate profound problems in the industry.
As these major providers continue to grow, without any real competition, they’re creating a dysfunctional destiny for the cloud industry. If Europe wants to use the cloud without being kept under the thumb of these huge American companies, a feasible European alternative needs to be supported.
How Is Europe Taking On The Cloud Monopolies?
Aside from Europe creating its own provider, it has other lines of defence. There’s the Digital Markets Act, that after a period of being fairly ineffectual the European Commission has the power to update. This could allow them to block gatekeepers by giving preferential treatment to their cloud infrastructures.
The European Data Act is also in the works. If passed, it would combat anti-competitive practices and unfair software contracts. And Commissioner Thierry Breton is working on an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) within the cloud economy.
European cloud providers as part of CISPE (Cloud infrastructure service providers in Europe) have filed an anti-trust complaint. Members of this group have spoken about the risks of retaliation involved in this move. Privately telling EuroNews that gatekeepers could “turn off half of their business at the click of a finger”.
Evroc: the feasible alternative for Europe?
Swedish start-up, Evroc, is throwing its hat in the ring to take over from traditional cloud providers in Europe. They’re launching a pan-European cloud platform, with support from EGT Ventures and Norrsken VC. They’re proposing an end to “foreign dominance of the European cloud market” with their “secure, sovereign, and sustainable hyperscale cloud”.
Not only this, but Evroc hope to be the world’s most environmentally friendly cloud. Tove Larsson, partner at Norrsken VC said..
“Evroc’s holistic strategy for clean energy usage, combined with the implementation of state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology, could set the standard for the entire industry”
Read more about Evroc here: Evroc: Europe’s Opponent To AWS, Google and Microsoft?
If there ever was an optimal time to change the cloud industry, now would be it. Before the cloud has truly made its way into every industry as it surely will. Europe has a chance to escape the grip of the cloud monopolies now before it’s too late. Do you reckon they’ll manage it?