A new International Data Corporation (IDC) study confirmed that cloud is the major disruption factor in the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] infrastructure hardware market, accounting for a growing portion of hardware spending and exerting influence on hardware architectures and vendors’ strategies.

The overall investment in hardware for cloud environments in EMEA is expected to exceed US$4 billion in terms of user value by the end of 2014, with a strong 19% year-over-year growth, says the research group. 15% of the infrastructure spend in EMEA will be related to cloud environments in 2014, versus only 8% in 2011. This will grow to more than 22% by 2018, says IDC (www.idc.com). Further findings from the report include:

° IDC estimates that $3.4 billion was spent on hardware going to cloud environments in EMEA in 2013, up 21% compared with 2012. This led to an increase in the penetration of the overall infrastructure hardware spending in dollar terms, which was flat at $26.3 billion in 2013 compared with 2012.

° The main business drivers prompting cloud adoption are closely related to its advantages in terms of easy scalability, agile mobile applications support, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) — as well as regulatory compliance, backup, and archive — while Big Data analysis appears to contribute in minor, albeit rising, proportions.

° In 2013, 42% of cloud hardware spending was absorbed by public cloud environments, 38% by on-premises private clouds, and 20% by hosted dedicated private clouds. IDC forecasts that hosted private and public clouds will go fastest in the coming years.

° Penetration varies strongly by country, and it is more advanced in Western Europe than in emerging EMEA markets. In northern Europe, hosted private and public cloud deployments have been accelerated over the past two years, driven by large multinational providers especially in business to consumer environments.