Today in Davos Vice President Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, one of the seven flagships from the European Commission to built a stronger economic Europe, invited Public Authorities and Industry, Cloud Buyers and Suppliers to come together in A European Cloud Partnership.
In her speech in Davos, VP Kroes mentioned again that she wants to make Europe not just Cloud friendly, but Cloud active. Many are still hesitant before the Cloud. Numerous issues are particulary troublesome for smaller companies. She mentioned legal certainties, standards, certifications, interoperability and other barriers.
VP Kroes is determined to overcome these barriers. On the regulatory side, the commission has already started in proposing new rules for data protection, including the data in the Cloud.
Kroes mentioned the public sector, where public IT procurement is about 20 percent of the market but is fragmented and has limited impact. This buying power could be harnessed through more harmonisation and integration and ultimately also through joint public procurement cross borders.
She invites Public Authorities and Industry, Cloud Buyers and Suppliers to come together in A European Cloud Partnership and expects this process to go through three phases:
- The partnership has to come up with common requirements for Cloud procurement, looking at standards, competition and security, avoiding lock-in situations
- The partnership must come up with proof of concept solutions for common requirements
- In this final phase reference implementations must be built.
The European commission will launch this partnership with an investment of initially 10 million Euros and with first results to be expected in 2013.
The partnership will create a strong common basis for cloud procurement by public authorities and, she said, there is no reason why procurement by private business and organizations would not adopt in this direction as well.
At the closure of her speech she stated that the Cloud Partnership and the overall Cloud strategy is not to build a European super Cloud. Cloud business models, the setup of Cloud suppliers and publicly run data centers, should be determined by efficiency considerations on the market. The European Commission has already begun talking to potential partners and to work on setting up the Cloud Partnership.
The position of EuroCloud
EuroCloud supports the idea very much and is discussing with the European Commission and industry how we can actively contribute to this process. With EuroCloud presence in 27 countries we are capable of taking these issues to the next level. EuroCloud has been involved in addressing the barriers mentioned by VP Kroes as working group leader on Trust, Security and Certification.
EuroCloud is an independant non-profit organisation and consists of a two-tier setup where every European country can apply to participate in as long as they respect the EuroCloud Statutes. The mission of EuroCloud is to enhance the Cloud business across Europe between its members and acts as a bridge between local and European Industries, Politics and user organisations.