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DATA NEWS: European cloud computing take-up set to surge

Over 70 per cent of European firms plan to adopt cloud-based B2B integration services in the next year as a means of reducing costs and infrastructure.

The study of over 300 senior IT managers by Sterling Commerce, an AT&T company, found that France and Germany led the way with 72 and 77 per cent respectively claiming they will invest cloud in computing within the next 12 months.

Over 50 per cent of respondents also said they hope to drive down operating costs through better use of IT staff and better cost predictability.

More than a third of those surveyed said cloud computing will reduce errors resulting from manual processes, adding that manual processing created the largest obstacle in their current B2B integration capabilities

"The research confirms that companies are now ready to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of cloud-based B2B integration solutions and embrace the ‘pay-for-use model' that cloud computing represents," comments David Carmichael, senior product marketing manager at Sterling Commerce.

Gartner estimates that worldwide cloud services revenue will increase from $46.4bn (£28.7bn) in 2008, to $150.1bn (£93bn) in 2013.

More specifically for integration as a service (IaaS), Gartner estimates that companies worldwide spent more than $1.5bn (£0.9bn) on IaaS and B2B integration outsourcing in 2009.

The research also highlighted the importance of the B2B integration vendor providing choice as to whether the solution is implemented and delivered on premise, on-demand or fully managed; with only eight percent of respondents stating this was unimportant.

"In today's economy, companies are becoming acutely aware they need to optimize their B2B integration capability to reduce costs today and become more agile for competitive growth tomorrow.

"Achieving this at a time when few boards are prepared to entertain a project without a guarantee of an ROI, typically within a 12-month window, the ability to move from a capital expense to an operational one makes cloud-based B2B integration compelling," said Carmichael.