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EMEA region recognized as cloud innovation hub

EMEA Cloud Climbers EMEA Cloud Climbers
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Thomas Hawk

Shallu Behar-Sheehan, Senior Director EMEA Marketing, F5 Networks, reveals insights from The Top 50 EMEA Cloud Climbers Report

The cloud is the new playground for innovation and growth opportunity. More than ever, organizations across EMEA are adopting a cloud-first strategy to inject speed and agility into their operations to deliver greater value to customers. Spearheaded by thought-leadership innovators HotTopics.ht and sponsored by F5 Networks, the recently launched Top 50 EMEA Cloud Climbers Report casts a vivid spotlight on the region’s growing appetite and aptitude for the cloud.

An eminent panel of international experts and thought-leaders whittled down several hundred EMEA Cloud Climbers nominees from dozens of sectors into the final 50 based on strategic cohesion, market impact, operational performance, and overall value. Interestingly, one of the overarching themes was that organizations are increasingly leveraging the cloud for business agility above operation cost-savings. According to David Linthicum – EMEA Cloud Climbers judge and world’s #1 cloud influencer – cloud technology’s disruptive properties means “innovative companies are quickly learning that they can automate more quickly, and change as business demands.”

This, he argues, is the “true value of cloud”. Encouragingly, he also claimed that EMEA is “no longer trailing the US, but is equal to, and in some cases, accelerating the use of cloud computing”.

Another judge, Mu Kenny Li, CEO at Cloud Spectator, was equally impressed. “As more enterprises begin to recognize the benefits of cloud computing, we are seeing a significant shift to multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies,” he explained.

“The benefits of those strategies are witnessed by many of the adopters nominated on this list, and the number of nominations and the portfolio of industries they represent shows that EMEA is able and willing to continue to take full advantage of those benefits. From industry leaders to growing start-ups, we believe that companies throughout EMEA will continue to adopt cloud in their effort to expand in an Internet-connected world.”

Transforming the business landscape

Digital cloud transformation has affected multiple sectors. Leading brands that made the final EMEA Cloud Climbers Top 50 include Spotify (for continually evolving and optimising its massive music streaming service), Mercedes F1 (cloud-fuelled performance analytics) and Airbus (cloud and machine learning to store and process several hundred terabytes of satellite imagery annually) and many more leading firms transforming market sectors. Interestingly, the UK saw the highest number of innovators with 36% (18), Germany had 16% (8) and France 12% (6).

The retail sector secured the most top 50 slots (12%), followed by financial services (8%), automotive (6%), sport (6%) and transport/logistics (4%); while other sectors shared the remaining 64%, such as archaeology and meteorology, and much more.

Overall, EMEA firms showcased best practice in cloud migration initiatives by developing a model framework for a flexible, fully meshed hybrid environment in which people, locations, clouds, and data can be connected securely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Enterprises that turned to public cloud computing could enable faster, frictionless services to increase business agility and spur business growth.

Firms that pursued a private cloud computing strategy boosted agility, automated processes, and decreased time to market thanks to the advantages of self-service provisioning, enhanced scalability, and multi-tenancy. Another core feature of the private cloud infrastructure projects was increased scalability and that resources could be dedicated to one application, allowing IT teams to achieve complete control without fear of impacting other applications.

Crucially, many of the EMEA Cloud Climbers’ operations showed effective use of platform cloud gateway services to achieve their business and security objectives, including single sign-on and ID federation, as well as SSL inspection, DNS services, load balancing, and advanced web application firewalls.

Keep on climbing

Being at the forefront of cloud technology empowers organizations to successfully deliver, manage, and secure vital data and applications in the cloud. A true Cloud Climber embraces effective cloud architecture methodologies to drive value across the business through to end customers, all while maintaining application security and data protection. An effective cloud architecture strategy increases business agility and provides flexibility to scale based on shifting hardware, software and on-demand requirements. Meanwhile, application control, access, and security ensure optimal service performance, availability, and security. The Top 50 EMEA Cloud Climbers Report proves that with the right approach and a comprehensive multi-cloud solution, EMEA organizations will continue to drive innovation and add significant customer value.