International Data Corporation (IDC) reckons the cloud will have a major impact on the European software market this year. Perhaps surprising considering the technology is in its infancy in terms of adoption, IDC’s European software team has nonetheless developed 10 predictions for the European software market in 2011, outlining the effect these will have on software vendors, IT managers and directors, business models, security, and cloud use cases.

IDC claims the evolution of cloud services will be a transformational force in the European software market and touch every aspect of the software ecosystem, be it developers, vendors, buyers, users, service providers, and the channel.

A number of factors will impact the speed and pattern of cloud services adoption in Europe, including continued sensitivity over the privacy, protection, and location of data and cultural differences between countries that influence their attitude toward cloud-based services, particularly those provided from outside Europe.

“The cloud has moved from being on the periphery of both IT buyers and IT vendors to being a core issue for both parties,” said David Bradshaw, research manager, European SaaS and cloud services, IDC. “IT buyers are looking for ways for cloud to increase agility while reducing cost, while many IT vendors, not least the software vendors, are scrambling to get their cloud offerings into the market before it is too late.”

According to Eric Domage, research manager, European security products and services, IDC, “Security was a long-term inhibitor to cloud adoption. Organisations have adopted cloud, despite the security questions, and the challenge now is to keep control over cloud adoption. New technologies released in 2011 will help better manage this complex, flexible, and always changing IT resource.”

“Infrastructure software will play a key role in automating the management and monitoring of large cloud environments, but also in orchestrating private and public cloud services,” said Carla Arend, program manager, European infrastructure software, IDC.

IDC’s top 10 cloud predictions for the European software market in 2011:

  1. Software vendors will have to intensify their efforts to become cloud players
  2. SaaS will turn IT directors into process and procurement managers
  3. “Local cloud” will accelerate SaaS adoption in Central and southern Europe
  4. Cloud “wholesale” models will emerge
  5. Big data will become a key use case for cloud BI
  6. Cloud-based social business platforms will become increasingly important
  7. Security, compliance, SLAs, and data location will not be solved in 2011
  8. Cloud security will break down more barriers than expected
  9. Cloud governance will grow in importance but won’t impede growth
  10. Commoditisation of IT infrastructure will accelerate