The use of the cloud in UK-based IT services has been a consistent feature of the last few years and a new development shows this is only going to continue.
Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to make a £1.8 billion investment in cloud infrastructure across the country. Much of this will be invested in new data centres, although it has not yet been stated just how much.
Darren Hardman, the vice president of AWS in the UK and Ireland, said the company is happy with its involvement in the country, adding: “The UK remains full of opportunity and we continue to be excited by the potential to continue supporting our customers, partners, and citizens across the UK over the years to come.”
While the firm notes that this investment in its cloud infrastructure represents a doubling of its financial commitment to the UK, it also said that cloud computing take-up shows significant regional variations.
In particular, it noted research by Public First stating that if the use of the cloud in the north east of England was at the same level as London, the region would see productivity and wages jump by £1.4 billion. Scotland and the East of England were identified as having similar potential gains.
Indeed, a map by parliamentary constituency produced as part of that research showed that the income earned by firms through cloud use is notably higher across the south of England, West Midlands, north-west of England and Northern Ireland.
In Yorkshire, the picture is more varied, with rural North Yorkshire doing better than the more urbanised West and South Yorkshire conurbations.
That suggests businesses using IT support in Doncaster and other locations in Yorkshire to increase the use of cloud could gain significantly in terms of productivity and revenue.
Which provider of cloud services is best to use is something that the right expertise in IT can help you decide, ensuring you get the right deal for your firm.
Of course, AWS is one of the big players, but not the only one. Computing.co.uk noted that, according to Synergy Research, AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft hold 69 per cent of the market in Europe between them.
That fact was highlighted in an article covering an antitrust lawsuit Microsoft is facing in the EU from OVH Cloud, one of many smaller providers.
The complaint was filed with the European Commission last summer but has only just been made public as a live case. It centres on complaints that the way Microsoft licences its office software makes it more expensive to use any platform except Microsoft Azure.
With Britain now out of the EU the UK will not be directly affected by the eventual outcome of the case, but the fact this matter is in court highlights two facts: That there are a few big players that dominate the market, but still plenty of alternatives.
In addition, there is the obvious reality that this case is based on the significant financial implications of the status quo, highlighting the value of the market and the importance of grabbing a good share of it.
However, that value is evidently not just to vendors, as the Public First study showed. That is why now could be a great time for firms to get on board with the benefits that using the cloud can offer.