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IDC Viewpoint: Impact on IT Demand in Europe - Migrant Crisis, VW Scandal, and Paris Terrorist Attacks

By Bo Lykkegaard, Research Director, European Enterprise Applications at IDC

(PresseBox) (Frankfurt am Main, ) In the last few months, three major events have taken place in Europe that could possibly affect IDC forecasts for IT demand for 2015–2019 — the migrant crisis in Europe, the VW emissions scandal, and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Based on our analysis, IDC concludes the following:
  • The broader economic impact of each event is too small, and in the case of the migrant crisis too ambiguous, for IDC to revise European IT forecasts at this point
  • Derived effects of the events, such as border protection and data protection regulation, could have impact that is more direct on particular markets. Impacted markets could include IT security and cloud services
IDC's Point of View

European Migrant Crisis. IDC believes that the most likely scenario is that after a smaller, short-term boost to the economy due to public spending, the situation will require years to have a long-lasting positive impact. The positive contribution from the few highly educated immigrants will be counterbalanced by the added burden on state finances from those immigrants not participating in the labor market on top of initial spending. Germany may benefit the most, while the bulk of the transit countries such as Greece and Italy the least. At this point, IDC believes that the GDP impact, and the impact on IT demand for 2015–2019, will overall be neutral.

VW Emissions Scandal. One immediate impact is that VW and its related network may be forced to scale back or cut spending on IT projects, including spending on IT. However, VW's share of total IT buying in Germany is negligible. At this point, it appears that the key macro indicators for the German economy are more or less at their pre-scandal levels. IDC's preliminary conclusion is therefore that our positive IT spending forecast for Germany should remain unaffected by the VW scandal assuming that the repercussions remain limited in the immediate future.

Paris Terrorist Attacks. Despite the attacks, IDC believes that France's macroeconomic stability will not be affected and that the impact on IT demand in the country will remain neutral. However, security is likely to play an even greater role when choosing European infrastructure providers and datacenter locations because of perceived increased threat level. European customers may start to favor more scattered datacenter strategies with various locations as backups and multi-cloud environments rather than relying on only a few large service provider datacenters. Investment into secure sites for new datacenters such as in abandoned mines is likely to increase, and large cloud service providers need to credibly step up their security measures including better monitoring of physical facilities and more armed guards on site, which can add further costs.

The migrant crisis and the Paris attacks have already caused, at least temporarily, increased protection of national borders within the EU. This is turn is starting to have an impact on enterprises, cloud service providers and governments’ datacenter plans. For example, IDC believes that compliance with EU regulations data protection will no longer be sufficient, but national data protection regulation would need to be observed by cloud providers.

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