Five ways Brexit is accelerating AWS and public cloud adoption

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Deutsche Bank estimates AWS derives about 15% of its total revenue mix or has attained a $1.5B revenue run rate in Europe, while AWS is now approximately 6x the size of Microsoft Azure globally according to Deutsche Bank.

These and other insights are from the research note published earlier this month by Deutsche Bank Markets Research titled AWS/Cloud Adoption in Europe and the Brexit Impact written by Karl Keirstead, Alex Tout, Ross Sandler, Taylor McGinnis and Jobin Mathew.  The research note is based on discussions the research team had with 20 Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers and partners at the recent AWS user conference held in London earlier this month, combined with their accumulated research on public cloud adoption globally.

These are the five ways Brexit will accelerate AWS and public cloud adoption:

  • The proliferation of European-based data centres is bringing public cloud stability to regions experiencing political instability. AWS currently has active regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, with the former often being used by AWS’ European customers due to the broader base of services offered there. An AWS Region is a physical geographic location where there is a cluster of data centers. Each region is made up of isolated locations known as availability zones. AWS is adding a third European Union (EU) region in the UK with a go-live date of late 2016 or early 2017. Microsoft has 2 of its 26 global regions in Europe, with two more planned in the UK.  Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP) has just one region active in Europe. The following Data Centre Map provides an overview of data centres AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP have in Europe today and planned for the future.

Data Center Map

  • Brexit is making data sovereignty king. European-based enterprises have long been cautious about using cloud platforms to store their many forms of data. Brexit is accelerating the needs European enterprises have for greater control over their data, especially those based in the UK.  Amazon’s planned third EU region based in London scheduled to go live in late 2016 or early 2017 is well-timed to capitalise on this trend.
  • Up-front costs of utilising AWS are much lower and increasingly trusted relative to more expensive on-premise  IT platforms. Brexit is having the immediate effect of slowing down sales cycles for managed hosting, enterprise-wide hardware and software maintenance agreements. The research team found that the uncertainty of just how significant the economic impact Brexit will have on the European economies is making companies tighten capital expense (CAPEX) budgets and trim expensive maintenance agreements.  UK enterprises are reverting to OPEX spending that is already budgeted.
  • CEOs are pushing CIOs to get out of high-cost hardware and on-premise software agreements to better predict operating costs faster thanks to Brexit. The continual pressure on CIOs to reduce the high hardware and software maintenance costs is accelerating thanks to Brexit. Because no one can quantify with precision just how Brexit will impact European economies, CEOs, and senior management teams want to minimize downside risk now. Because of this, the cloud is becoming a more viable option according to Deutsche Bank. One reseller said that public cloud computing platforms are a great answer to a recession, and their clients see Brexit as a catalyst to move more workloads to the cloud.
  • Brexit will impact AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) revenues, forcing a greater focus on incentives for low-end and mid-tier services. Deutsche Bank Markets Research team reports that AWS has this special program in place for its very largest customers. Under an EDP, AWS will give price discounts to large customers that commit to a full year (or more) and pay upfront, in many cases with minimum volume increases. One AWS partner told Deutsche Bank that they’re aware of one EDP payment of $25 million. In the event of a recession in Europe, it’s possible that such payments could be at risk. These market dynamics will drive AWS to promote further low- and mid-tier services to attract new business to balance out these larger deals.
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