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European cloud adoption has happened slower than in the U.S., but there are signs that it’s about to rapidly accelerate. At Structure:Europe, cloud luminaries will talk about how they see this change unfolding and what’s motivating it. Hint: It’s not just about saving money.

There’s a ton of cloud opportunity in Europe — the question is how fast it will come to fruition and what’s driving it. Those are the questions we’ll be asking — and getting answers to — at Structure:Europe in October.

Cloud adoption on the continent has thus far come slower than in the U.S. But hardly anyone expects the status quo to hold. For one thing, the use of private cloud deployments by European organizations is on the rise. Twenty percent of companies responding to a recent IDC survey said they implemented private clouds this year up from 6 percent in 2011. And, in March, results of a Tata Consultancy Services survey showed that, in aggregate, 12 percent of European companies’ total applications run in the cloud now, but they expect that percentage to hit 25 percent by 2014.

One big question is what’s driving the cloud migrations. The conventional wisdom is that companies make the move to save money, but the rationale may be more complex than that. That issue will be addressed by experts at the upcoming GigaOM Structure:Europe conference. Speaking at the show, James Mitchell, CEO and founder of Strategic Blue and Sander Nagtegaal, co-founder and CTO of Peecho, will discuss what they see as the driving factors behind cloud adoption. Some companies say that cloud’s ability to let them roll out new business processes across locations fast and easily, is even more important than any potential cost savings.

Another hot topic is which of the players building out global public cloud infrastructure can challenge Amazon’s dominance. One contender in the European spotlight is Hewlett-Packard. Zorawar “Biri” Singh, SVP and GM of HP’s Cloud Services effort will be in Amsterdam to talk about his company’s gargantuan effort. And, representing the incumbent market leader, Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon Web Services will also be on hand.

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