10 years of hard work

The hosting business is still very young and many people in society do not really understand what we do. Some in my immediate surrounding still think of 16 year old teenagers toying around with computers when they think of the hosting industry. My mother still does not understand what I do. If I look at Leaseweb, then I think that the hosting business is not older than 10 years.

The image of the hosting business is not great. Some companies are even ashamed to call themselves a hosting provider and try to come up with many new categories such as managed service provider, internet infrastructure provider, etc. I think they all boil down to the same thing, ie enabling customers to use computing capacity from a datacenter that is connected to the internet. The last thing we need in today’s tight labor markets is an image problem among potential employees.

Fortunately, the industry finally managed to found the Dutch Hosting Association and hopefully this will improve the image problem. Perhaps the next step will be the foundation of a European association as more and more decisions are taken in Brussels.

I really support the foundation of this association because we have many common challenges such as infringement on copyrights, internet fraud, spam, deceiving advertisements by hosting providers, content filters, energy efficiency, net neutrality and I can continue for a while.

Leaseweb is one of the largest hosting providers and as such we are often in the news in relation to one of these subjects. As we say in Holland, high trees catch a lot of wind. However, it would be nice if we could do this jointly with the entire hosting industry.

The first step has been set and I see also that the government is increasingly collaborating proactively. An example is the steering group set up by the Dutch NICC (National Infrastructure Cyber Crime), part of the ICTU (www.ictu.nl); which is an alliance of the interior ministry and the Association of the Dutch Municipalities.

I look forward to working with the stakeholders to establish the hosting industry in the Netherlands at the center of the worldwide internet in a similar manner that Schiphol and Rotterdam are instrumental in the global logistical flows. Hosting providers transport data packets instead of logistical packages so this vision is not that far fetched.

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