On 14 April, Google officially launched the Google Cloud Warsaw region. As the global public cloud provider's first computing infrastructure in CEE, it is the result of a strategic partnership between Google and OChK. Eighteen months after the agreement was announced, every Polish company and institution can now use the latest global cloud solutions available in the Google Cloud region located in Poland. The digital acceleration that the deal with Google, among others, was designed to achieve is now a dream come true.
“With Google’s largest investment in Poland to date, our country has joined the digital premier league. Polish companies now have access to the world’s best cloud technology, exactly the same enjoyed by companies in the US, Singapore, Japan or Switzerland,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a video call with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “More and more Polish entrepreneurs are interested in process growth and digitalization. This applies to many sectors, including production, trade, related markets, etc. I am very happy about this. I believe such development activities make sense, it is worth investing in digitalization. This is the future of the economy. Not only does it increase business efficiency but simply makes our lives better,” added the Head of the Polish government.
The Warsaw Google Cloud region is the 25th such center worldwide, and the only one the company is opening in Europe this year.
“It is yet another milestone in Poland’s digital history. With cloud solutions, Polish companies can make agile innovations, adapting their products and services to rapidly changing market expectations. Today, OChK is the most specialized provider of cloud computing solutions in Poland. From the outset, OChK’s goal has been to accelerate the digital transformation of Polish businesses and public institutions. By entering into partnerships like the one with Google, we are taking steps towards this goal,” said Zbigniew Jagiełło, President of PKO Bank Polski, co-owner of OChK.
OChK was established on the initiative of PKO Bank Polski and the Polish Development Fund. The intention of the founders and current shareholders was to create a technology platform that would stimulate the development of innovation in Polish companies and enable optimization of processes related to building a modern public administration. The company was incorporated in 2018.
“Cloud is a technology, a collection of components you need to be able to build business solutions from. We are here to support companies and public institutions on their road to the cloud, because it is a complex process that requires a systemic approach. We have a diverse portfolio of cloud services, delivered in a multicloud model. We also provide consulting services: we can facilitate transformation by helping to effectively build business value using cloud solutions,” said Michal Potoczek, CEO of OChK. “OChK is a mature company today, with a team of more than 150 of the most experienced cloud experts in Poland. We support our clients at every stage of their transformation, from drafting a plan to its successful implementation,” he added.
What does the launch of the Google Cloud Warsaw region actually mean? It means removing the barriers that have prevented many companies and institutions from using cloud solutions until recently. It means more efficient and flexible IT infrastructure managed and maintained by Google and available as a service. It means minimal data latency. It also means the ability to use advanced real-time data analytics, faster data storage in applications and faster backups.
“Polish companies across all industries, as well as those in neighboring Central and Eastern European countries, can now benefit from the full computing power provided by our global network. We are proud to have worked with companies and government institutions during the COVD-19 pandemic to help them adapt to this new cloud-based reality. In Poland, we are proud to support companies across all industries, from retail and banking to manufacturing and the public sector,” said Magdalena Dziewguć, Country Manager of Google Cloud Poland.
The region's location in Poland also offers companies the opportunity to store data on Polish territory and comply with regulatory and industry requirements. Organizations using the infrastructure can now build highly available and disaster-proof solutions. They will also be able to build scalable and efficient hybrid solutions, with data storage in their own centers, and applications and computing occurring in the cloud.
The region provides the opportunity to take advantage of the latest IT technologies without significant investment. This means democratizing access to IT solutions and services. Every company and institution, regardless of its specialization and scale of operation, can have equal access to the public cloud
In the Warsaw region, there are available some of the most important and widely used Google Cloud solutions: Compute Engine, App Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Bigtable, Cloud Spanner and BigQuery.
According to data from the latest report by the Central Statistical Office titled “Information Society in Poland in 2020,” 24.4 percent of enterprises in Poland used paid cloud services. It is almost 7 percentage points higher than in 2019 (17.5%) and more than 13 percentage points higher than in 2018, when the rate was only 11%.
The rate is used by Eurostat to evaluate the level of cloud adoption in Poland and other European Union countries. According to the latest data from Eurostat, an average of 36 per cent of EU companies used cloud services in 2020, compared to 24 percent in 2018. This means that in just two years, Poland has more than doubled the level of cloud adoption, while the average dynamics in Europe – although impressive – is much slower. This also means that the Polish market shows a very positive trend, but the potential for further rapid growth is still high.