Yesterday, September 27th, European Commission released their EU strategy for cloud computing following a proposal to reform data protection rules from January this year. Cloud adoption rate in Europe has been much slower than in the US and this topic has been widely discussed among cloud analysts. Due to particular problems in European economy in recent years it hasn’t been possible to focus on cloud adoption as much.
Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe, the document that was released yesterday defines many aspects of the future cloud strategy in Europe.
European Commission expects cloud computing to drive economic growth by generating 2.5 million job positions and enabling significant cost savings. Neely Kroes, commissioner for the digital agenda, said the strategy is expected to save €300 per person each year and to gain €600 billion in the period between 2015 and 2020, depending on how efficiently it is applied. Cloud computing should also provide a better competitive edge for all the 27 member states.
Cloud computing makes computing resources and information available everywhere to anyone and it is important to facilitate faster adoption of this technology. This doesn’t only cut IT costs but also boost productivity. The paper states that “it represents a political commitment of the Commission and serves as a call on all stakeholders to participate in the implementation of these actions, which could mean an additional EUR 45 billion of direct spend on Cloud Computing in the EU in 2020 as well as an overall cumulative impact on GDP of EUR 957 billion, and 3.8 million jobs, by 2020.”
The key areas where preparatory work needs to be done include:
– Fragmentation of the digital single market due to the differences in national laws
– Solving problems with contracts related to data access and portability
– Deal with a jungle of standards that increasingly appear and create confusion
One of the major aims is to gain publicly available cloud offerings that meet European standards in terms of competitiveness, openness and security. In the course of next two years European Commission will focus on these key areas and by the end of 2013 it will make a report on progress and present the future strategy.
Besides this, the Commission will set up a European Cloud Partnership (ECP) that will help develop public sector purchasing because public sector is expected to play an important role in further shaping the cloud computing standards. In several states in Europe some initiatives have already been established such as Andromede in France, G-Cloud in the UK and Trusted Cloud inGermany, but their influence cannot be big enough as long as public sector is fragmented.
The Commission expects from all the member states to use potential of cloud computing and develop public sector cloud in order to improve performance and drive down costs.