Cloud computing: a catalyst for European competitiveness
Cloud computing is gaining momentum, as Europe discovers the productivity gains and opportunities for a wide range of European economic stakeholders. Cloud computing creates a more level playing field, where small European companies can play big.
Cloud computing requires large investments in terms of massive datacenters and telecommunications infrastructure. These investments come from larger companies, enabling Europe to access the economies of scale that cloud computing offers. The datacenters combined with reliable networks can provide computing power, which is more cost-effective, secure, and sustainable than average companies can obtain running their own IT systems.
The benefits are pervasive throughout the economy, and will have large scale advantages for small business.
Many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) used to dream of having cheap access to computing power. Some struggled to finance upfront the IT hardware and software needed to start or expand a business. Others wanted to have access to more computing resources only when they need it, instead of buying excess capacity in preparation for busy periods.
Now, with mainstream access to cloud computing, these small companies can do what they have always wanted, and even more, as both users and innovators of cloud computing.
As innovators, many SMEs are busy developing new applications and services on cloud platforms. A good example is Threeplicate, a startup company in Italy that created a service to simplify the process of translating software in multiple languages, helping developers to save time, reduce workload and minimize error when reaching new markets. Another example is Artesian, a small UK company that offers a service to reduce the cost, time and pain of filtering web and social-media information so that its customers get quick and accurate access to market intelligence.
To provide these innovative services, Threeplicate and Artesian embrace the sheer power of large scale computing in the cloud. This is an advantage small companies never had before.
Microsoft works with thousands of startup companies in Europe, through programs like Bizspark, aimed at helping early stage start-ups by providing them with software and support. Without such activity by SMEs, there would be less interest in cloud computing.
The role of SMEs is not always evident, but by developing, selling, and using cloud-based services, they are a force shaping the future of computing and driving the type of economic activity & competitiveness that is vital for us all in Europe.
For more information: www.microsoft.eu
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