The impact on the Microsoft ecosystem
As mentioned, the new Italian region is part of the Ambizione Italia plan and already includes 32 tech companies in the ranks of the Cloud Region Partner Alliance throughout the territory. The estimate elaborated by IDC regarding the potential impact of the ecosystem of Microsoft's cloud partners and customers on the Italian economy in the next four years is decidedly important and is quantified in 135 billion dollars of new revenues, which correspond to the over 237 thousand new jobs (inside and outside the ecosystem) that should be created by 2027. The cloud region, in this scenario, will account for 17% of the total estimated new revenues, and therefore more or less 23 billion, and it adds to the added value generated by the current 14,000 partners who work alongside the company in Italy.
As Vincenzo Esposito, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Italia for just over two months, also underlined, we are talking about the "largest investment made by the company in Italy in 40 years" and the goal can only be to further consolidate the role of strategic partner for innovation and the development of digital skills in the country (in the last three years, over three million Italians have been the subject of upskilling and reskilling initiatives by partners and non-governmental organizations as part of the Ambizione Italia project). The priority, the manager confirmed, “is to bring many more companies to the cloud, ensuring them benefits in terms of greater productivity and greater energy savings. It is not an arrival point, but a starting point because we will continue to invest, with important repercussions on the entire ecosystem, and I like to think of the launch of the Italian region as the kick off for the next 40 years of Microsoft in Italy".
The clouds of others: Google, Oracle and Amazon
If Microsoft formalized its role in the race for the cloud in Italy in a grand style, Google toasted the second Region Cloud launched in the Belpaese (after that of Milan) already last March, with the opening at the gates of Turin - in collaboration with Tim and Intesa Sanpaolo - of its 35th center in Europe. On the table, the Mountain View house has put around 900 million euros spread over five years (of which a large part for the construction of datacenters) with the intention of generating 65 thousand jobs and an economic boost of 3.3 billion of Euro. The recipe for serving businesses and the Public Administration is not very different from the one adopted by Microsoft and essentially follows the same principle: the cloud is an enabling technology for the development of the digitization process and the further diffusion of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence solutions and responds to new needs related to data sovereignty, speed of operations and cybersecurity.
And not only. The bet, for Google, is also to activate a real supply chain of companies able to offer cloud-based services, apps and systems, taking advantage of the low latency of the connections guaranteed by the proximity of the nodes and major territorial points of presence. Even AWS, Amazon's armed arm for the cloud has long been the loud voice for the innovation of the country system and just a year ago it announced investments of up to 2 billion euros in Italy by 2029, with an estimated impact of the Region Milan's cloud on the national GDP of around 3.7 billion (which will benefit not only the technology and telecommunications chain but also the construction and energy ones) and a potential base of over 1,100 new full-time jobs all over the world Among the Big Techs, Oracle also moved in time, announcing in December 2021 the opening of its Italian Cloud Region in Milan, the 36th of the 44 activated in total until the end of 2022. Also in this case the cornerstones of the new facility are sustainability (the data center is powered by 100% renewable energy) and the need to respond to needs related to the sovereignty of customer data (in compliance with European and national privacy regulations) and the generalized acceleration of system migration to the cloud and applications by large companies and public bodies (such as ATM-Azienda Trasporti Milanese, Trenord, Banca Mediolanum, Unicoop, Cerved Group and Inail) to ensure scalable, flexible and secure IT resources to face the challenge of digital transformation.
The task of the Oracle Region? The same as those of other providers? Migrate and manage all business workloads in the cloud, from IaaS services (with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure) to SaaS-Software as a Service (with Oracle Cloud applications), and act as a trade union for the transition from the legacy world and on premise to the cloud by exploiting the capabilities of a new generation infrastructure and a dedicated network backbone. The feeling of insiders is that the impact (social, occupational and economic) that the new infrastructures installed by Microsoft & Co. will be quite significant for Italy's competitiveness at an international level and the numbers detected by the Cloud Observatory of the Polytechnic of Milan confirms this orientation: the 190 datacenters present in Italy at the end of 2021 (with Aruba taking the lion's share) will become 204 in 2025 also thanks to the contribution of players such as the Chinese Alibaba.