There is growing concern that European Union citizens, businesses, and member states have lost control over their ability to control data, innovation, and the digital environment.
The focus is on Europe’s strategic autonomy, as it lacks the ability to respond independently to European security challenges.
At the same time, we rely entirely on non-EU companies to provide strategically important cloud services.
The so-called “public” cloud is actually a very private and very profitable venture for a few non-European giants. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest cloud provider, famously states, “Your margin is my chance.”
Cloud computing has grown into a vast and complex ecosystem of technologies, products and services.
It has created a multi-billion dollar economy in which cloud providers compete for ever-expanding market share. The market is worth more than 180 billion euros, which is almost equivalent to Hungary’s GDP.
The top five cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and IBM.
You will find that something is missing on that list – no European company. The United States and China dominate the business.
AWS alone has an estimated 35% margin and annual revenue of $ 62 billion (€ 60.87 billion). AWS accounts for only 16% of Amazon’s total revenue, but accounts for most of the company’s overall profits.
The just-completed President of the Council of the European Union had digital sovereignty in the EU as the basis for efforts to shape the future of the EU.
They want to support the development of digital infrastructure that will enable European innovators to thrive and become the standard setter for the future.
The recently agreed EU Digital Services Act creates a secure digital space for citizens and businesses. With EU online sales of € 747 billion in 2020, it’s never too early to strengthen protection.
Cloud computing is the backbone of all modern enterprise software. If your business uses software, it’s almost certainly using the cloud. The cloud is now an established and highly profitable technology. About 42% of EU companies use cloud computing.
Europe needs to build a true public cloud to strengthen digital sovereignty and provide EU companies with a platform for innovation. It’s a digital commons that provides European start-ups and established companies with a place to build products without losing profits to foreign cloud providers. .. It will be the cloud as a public utility. The big margin of current market leaders is our opportunity.
Utilities such as gas and water offer one undifferentiated product among vendors. The cloud is not.
Even the most similar product, the virtual machine, has many variations. This is not the case for utilities.
That said, it’s widely understood that on AWS, where margins aren’t split by specific services, only a few services make up the majority of revenue. EC2, one of the oldest and most popular services, is estimated to contribute about half.
Adopting Europe’s current AWS Regions (Frankfurt, Ireland, London, Milan, Paris, Stockholm) and reflecting its reach in public infrastructure offering the five most popular cloud infrastructure services, Europe It can have a big impact on companies and innovation. Also, arm while ensuring digital sovereignty and autonomy.
Hiring staff and building a data center requires a large amount of upfront investment, which will need to be invested in the future.
In any case, European governments and businesses are already spending tens of billions of euros a year on the cloud.
The most important part of digital sovereignty cannot be achieved unless European companies take strong steps to provide a baseline for innovation.
There is often a sense that the public means poor management. But in the European context, German trains, French electricity, and our own An Post show what we can do if we take a commercial approach to running a public enterprise.
Efficiently operated public competitors seeking to maximize user production rather than headline profits allow others to grow and the innovation gap between US and Chinese rivals Helps to fill in.
Encode European openness, innovation and standards into a true public cloud. It requires boldness and real investment.
The potential value is enormous and there is no better time to get started.
Luke Feeney is the founder of TerminusDB, an Irish data management startup.