Poland turns into a major cloud location in Europe

Google is the protagonist in a major milestone in the Central and Eastern European cloud journey with the opening of its Google Cloud Region in Warsaw. Wednesday, the data center became operational, more than a year after the announcement of a strategic partnership with Poland’s Domestic Cloud Provider, OChK, in September 2019 and a $2 billion investment.

This event is the result of a national strategy for accelerated cloud adoption. Polish customers, especially from the public sector, have been rather reluctant about cloud computing for many years for various reasons – the existence of large infrastructure capacities in their own data centers, legal restrictions, security, and trust. However, the paradigm changed significantly in 2019 when the Polish government announced the creation of a Domestic Cloud Provider as a partnership between the bank PKO BP and the Polish Development Fund (PFR), the shareholders of OChK (Operator Chmury Krajowej).

Following the creation of this organization, the Polish authorities concluded strategic partnerships with leading technology vendors and service providers, which turned the domestic cloud into a complex ecosystem. Google and Microsoft are the main providers of cloud infrastructure, besides OChK’s own infrastructure.

Oracle, IBM, Dell, VMware, Hitachi, and Fortinet are technology partners, while Accenture and Deloitte are advisory partners. The ecosystem is completed by several global and domestic integrators, such as DXC, T-Systems, Asseco, and Euvic, to name but a few.

The creation of the domestic cloud is expected to accelerate cloud adoption in Poland, especially in the public sector. PAC estimates that the total Polish cloud market will increase by an annual average of more than 20% by 2024, reaching EUR 2.5 billion.

OChK is still at the beginning of its journey, still fine-tuning its offerings and services, but the Polish story could be a model for other countries in the region that do not have a solid strategy for cloud adoption.

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