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Cloud investments lead EMEA IT spending, says IDC

Cloud computing is behind a rise in IT infrastructure spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), with Western Europe a particularly strong marketplace, according to research firm IDC. 30 Apr 2015

Spending on infrastructure for private and public cloud grew by 27% in the fourth quarter of 2014, to US$1.1 billion, and by 28% year-on-year to reach $4.1bn for the whole of 2014, IDC said in a statement.

Cloud accounted for 17% of overall IT infrastructure spending, up 3% from the year before. In terms of storage capacity, cloud accounted for 32% of all EMEA capacity, in a 52% rise from the year before.

Western Europe was responsible for 82% of EMEA cloud spending in 2014, "bringing to growth an otherwise stagnant IT infrastructure market," IDC said. 

Public cloud in particular, which only accounts for around 8% of total investment, saw the highest growth over the year in Western Europe, at 35%.

"The Western European market for cloud hardware was the fastest growing among the major regions at the end of 2014, and we believe it is still far from maturity," said Giorgio Nebuloni, director of IDC European Cloud Practice.

"Though in public cloud environments the region is lagging the US and China, where the largest Web players have their roots, in 2014 it went through a phase of considerable data centre investments. US multinationals like Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce expanded their presence to serve customers with regionally located data centres, and native service providers fought back with investments of their own."

IDC expects the EMEA market for cloud infrastructure to reach $10.8bn by 2019, or 39% of total market expenditure, it said.

The emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) made 18% of EMEA's cloud computing investments in 2014.

Cloud infrastructure spending in the region is estimated to be 12% of the server, storage and networking hardware market. Public cloud is below half of this share, IDC said.

"Many businesses are reluctant to make the move to public cloud," said Mohamed Hefny, senior research analyst for IDC CEMA. "They opt alternatively for private cloud deployment off-premises, taking advantage of the relative maturity of local hosts."