Microsoft is investing $1.5bn to establish an Italian cloud region in Milan, according to Reuters.

In February, Microsoft declared it was to invest in Europe with a $1bn injection into its Polish business coinciding with the opening of a new data center. February also saw the company announce it was planning a new cloud region in Spain, through a partnership with Telefónica

Microsoft Cloud
– Sebastian Moss

Ambizione Italia

As is typical for Microsoft, the region is paired with a five-year plan to skill-up the local population and provide easy access to its services for local customers. The company will also be using its platform to guide the postal service company, Italian Post, to accelerate its digital transformation.

The announcement continues a program launched by Microsoft in 2018, dubbed Ambizione Italia: Digital Restart. According to a report by Telecom Paper, the company expects the new cloud region will generate more than 10,000 jobs and contribute around $9bn for the economy, directly and indirectly, by the end of 2024.

Microsoft's announcement was welcomed by the Italian government with prime minister Giuseppe Conte saying: “Once again, Italy is confirmed to be a hub for attracting investment, innovation and development. Microsoft’s initiative, with cloud services and digital smart-working programs dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises, will certainly help Italy move even faster in this direction. The new Sustainability Alliance that Microsoft aims to bring is also of utmost importance to the national Green New Deal.”

Technology minister Paola Pisano, said: “We need to orient the country toward digital and technological transformation by addressing three challenges: digitalization, innovation and ethical and sustainable development". Both quotes are from Microsoft's press announcement, issued Friday.

Microsoft isn't alone: last week AWS opened a cloud region in Milan, and in March, Google partnered with Telecom Italia to expand its Italian cloud business.