Like many Americans, I didn’t know all that much about Sweden when I moved here three years ago to launch AWS in the Nordics.
Sure, I remember the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show when I was a kid, and I’d spent more than one Saturday afternoon trying to find my way out of an Ikea. But truth be told, I landed with little more than a smorgasbord of assumptions and stereotypes that quickly proved to be outdated.
Regardless of my own cultural adjustments, it was blindingly obvious from the start that I’d come to a country blessed with incredible resources and incredible potential.
In Sweden we found:
- Super connectivity thanks to an extensive and reliable fiber network
- A thriving startup community churning out innovative technologies and companies
- A talent pool teeming with top-notch programming, design, and entrepreneurial know-how
- A commitment to environmental sustainability (like 53 percent of all energy from renewable sources) that aligned perfectly with that of AWS
Indeed, for those of us working in the tech sector, Sweden truly does have it all – so it comes as no surprise that AWS ultimately chose Sweden and the Stockholm region as the site for a data center hub that will serve the entire Nordic region.
But don’t be fooled – the decision for AWS to call Sweden home was no happy accident; it was by no means a forgone conclusion. A lot of people were involved in making our April 2017 announcement a reality – not least the folks at Data Centers by Sweden (DCbS) and Business Sweden, who were with us every step of the way.
DCbS offered a unique constellation of stakeholders from both the public and private sector, including a number of regions around the country with prepared site solutions. They were a huge help with intelligence, contacts, and helping us better understand how best to harness the data center opportunities on offer in Sweden. They provided us with a central contact point to work with and made our landing in Sweden a lot smoother and easier.
We at AWS are extremely proud and excited to be a part of strengthening Sweden’s IT infrastructure by offering Swedish and Nordic customers access to the most powerful cloud services on the planet – right in their own backyard.
The AWS EU (Stockholm) Region strengthens a virtuous circle for everyone in the region: startups and established companies have access to more data storage capacity so they can expand faster and offer better service; more reliable service encourages end-users to demand and use more cloud-based services; entrepreneurs see lower barriers to entry for cloud-based business ideas, which adds to the innovative startup community…you get the picture: everybody wins.
Sweden is already home to one of the world’s greatest unicorn factories, and with our recent investment, AWS expects to boost that factory’s productivity in the years ahead.
There’s no doubt that demand for data storage capacity and cloud services is going to explode in the coming years – in the Nordics and elsewhere.
From artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to the Internet of Things – not to mention the increasing amount of content we all consume online via streaming services like Netflix and Spotify – the cloud is going to be an even more important piece of infrastructure for modern society to function.
So I’m thrilled to be able to welcome AWS to Sweden – a place we feel truly is heaven for cloud computing.
Darren Mowry, Managing Director Amazon Web Services (AWS) Nordics & Baltics