Half of EMEA cloud costs going to fees, but most plan to increase capacity

Half of EMEA cloud costs going to fees, but most plan to increase capacity Duncan is an award-winning researcher, with 20 years experience of analysing the technology industry, specialising in cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, cybersecurity and marketing technology.


European organisations are still beleaguered by storage bills as 50% of all cloud storage costs in EMEA go to data access and usage fees rather than capacity, according to the 2024 Global Cloud Storage Index from Wasabi Technologies.

Still, EMEA companies see the value of cloud storage services and plan to increase their spend in 2024 in order to drive IT initiatives like application or infrastructure migration and development, and to improve business and operational initiatives such as digital transformation or modernisation.

Commissioned by and conducted by Vanson Bourne, the Wasabi Global Cloud Storage Index uncovers the changing attitudes toward public cloud storage adoption, the factors that influence storage buying decisions, and the market’s top priorities. Wasabi surveyed 1,200 global IT decision makers, all of whom are involved in their respective organisations’ storage strategy.

Andrew Smith, senior manager of strategy and market intelligence at Wasabi Technologies, and a former IDC analyst, said: “Organisations worldwide are increasing their use and budgets for public cloud storage solutions, and Europe is no exception.

“Like the rest of the world, European cloud storage users continue to struggle with storage fees, but despite this, the region continues to show a healthy preference towards “cloud-first” decision making when it comes to IT services adoption.”

EMEA businesses are spending more on cloud storage fees than their global counterparts. On average in EMEA, organisations spend 50% of their cloud storage budgets on fees, not storage capacity, compared to the global average of 47%. The UK however has a slightly lower percentage of bills allocated to fees than the rest of EMEA, at 48%, while Germany has the highest at 51.5%.

In 2023, the majority of EMEA respondents exceeded their cloud storage budgets. France indicated the highest level of excess, at 57%, followed by the UK (55%) and Germany (51%.)

Europe’s “cloud-first” and “multicloud” mentality

Europe is slightly ahead of the global curve when it comes to pursuing a “cloud-first” strategy for IT services adoption (as opposed to any alternative requiring owned or on premises IT infrastructure) at 44%, compared to the global average of 42%. This difference was largely driven by Germany (51% “cloud-first”) and France (47% “cloud-first”).

When choosing a cloud storage provider, EMEA respondents prioritise integrations with existing third-party apps like Salesforce and Veeam (43%), security and compliance features, (40%) and sustainability (39%). Additionally, EMEA continues to explore adoption of multiple cloud storage providers. When asked to identify the important drivers of multicloud adoption, 48% of EMEA respondents say it is to avoid vendor lock-in – making it the top-ranked reason.

AI/ML tech and service adoption will drive innovation, but create new cloud storage challenges

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, 99% of EMEA respondents say they have adopted or are planning to adopt AI/ML in 2024, driven in large part by the need to accelerate product/service innovation and to create operational efficiencies. Overall, generative AI is the top use case for EMEA. However, there are differing AI/ML tech priorities at the country level:

  • Germany ranked GenAI as a distant 4th of its top AI use cases. Ahead of GenAI are AI and ML solutions for product design (49%), solutions for security and compliance (47%), and solutions for computer vision (38%).
  • The United Kingdom ranked AI/ML solutions for document processing or creation significantly higher than the norm. It is their #2 use case (48%) behind GenAI (52%)
  • France prioritises predictive analytics as their #2 AI use cases (39%) behind GenAI (47%).

Regardless of the AI/ML workloads organisations are implementing or planning to implement, 96% of EMEA respondents believe they will face new cloud storage concerns associated with AI/ML. The top EMEA concerns include:

  • Requirements to store data across a wider range of locations (e.g., core data centres and edge/remote locations – 46%)
  • Addressing new data backup, protection and recovery requirements (43%)
  • New or increasing storage migration/movement requirements (including hybrid or multicloud storage – 42%)

Jon Howes, Wasabi Technologies VP & GM of EMEA, commented: “Wasabi’s annual research once again shows that progress towards off-premises cloud storage solutions is a direction nearly all enterprises are taking – and one that’s only made more necessary by the adoption of AI/ML applications. However, the ever-growing frustration with unnecessary fees and vendor lock-in, as highlighted by the investigation by the UK’s market watchdog, provides a navigational challenge for cloud-first organisations in EMEA.”

To read the 2024 Wasabi Global Cloud Storage Index in its entirety, please visit here. APAC findings from the 2024 Cloud Storage Index are also available.

Methodology

Wasabi commissioned independent market research agency Vanson Bourne to conduct research into cloud storage. The study surveyed 1,200 IT decision makers who had at least some involvement in or responsibility for public cloud storage purchases in their organisation. The research took place in November and December 2023 from organisations with more than 100 employees across all public and private sectors.

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