40 international speakers coming from the European Commission, The European Data Protection Supervisor, the CERN, Fraunhofer Fokus, the NIST (USA), along with cloud solution providers have debated the current status of cloud technology and policy in Europe, on the two stages of the event: the Policy & Legal Stage and the Technology Stage.
The event was opened with an introductory keynote from Elena Zvarici, Executive Board Member for Marketing and Communication with EuroCloud Europe and President of EuroCloud Romania, who welcomed the participants to the 7th annual EuroCloud Europe Forum and invited the audience to be part of the dialogue between the industry, policy makers and consumers to bring future proof solutions to cloud regulation for the development of the cloud sector in Europe.
Mr. Tobias Hoellwarth, Advisory Board member of EuroCloud Europe and Director of Star Audit Cloud certification scheme highlighted that cloud can only provide its benefits in the European economy if its adoption across various industry sectors is encouraged by strong, future proof regulatory framework and policies tailored to enourage economic growth inside the European Single Market, backed by broad political consensus. Overregulation, regulation tailored to national needs or incorrect policy measures can hamper the harmonized development of a European cloud sector and can prevent cloud providers from acting as enablers of the European Digital Single market. His presentation was followed by a keynote of Mr. Andreas Dangl, Fabasoft, the first cloud servce provider worldwide to be certified 5 stars in the Star Audit certification scheme.
Mr. Dan Nechita, Counselor to the Prime-Minister of Romania on ICT and Cybersecurity with the Romanian Government, has presented the focus of the government to promote the development of the local IT industry, one of the main drivers in Romania's GDP growth, the creation of a government CIO office overseeing IT policies and implementation in the Romanian public administration, the GovITHub initiative and the focus of the Romanian government on cloud adoption.
Mrs. Mihaela Meresi, Policy Officer for Open Data policies and European Open Science Cloud with the European Commission, presented the general policy framework and the steps taken by the EC to enable the Digital Single Market. According to the communication of April 2016, the European Commision intends to focus investments into a European Open Science Cloud, the European Data Infrastructure and widening trust in cloud through certification and standards. With the European Open Science Cloud, by 2020, all European researchers will be able to deposit, access and analyse European scientific data. The project will create a global level playing field in scientific data sharing and data-driven science and fuel a new economy of science data for the use of the public and private sector.
Mr. Bob Jones, leader of the Helix Nebula – the Science Cloud initiative (http://www.helix-nebula.eu/) with the CERN in Geneva, focused on what they have learned from the activities of Helix Nebula about the most appropriate cloud model for the public research sector and what types of service cloud providers can offer in this market sector. He covered how the public and private sectors can work together within an open science policy framework that will ensure the impact of scientific research on the economy by engaging downstream industries that can develop new services exploiting a European cloud platform.
Mr. Wojciech Wiewiorowski, Assistant Supervisor with the European Data Protection Supervisor, has presented the key points cloud providers need to know on the newly adopted General Data Protection Regulation, which will be applied in Europe starting from august 2018. The GDPR comes with a new concept of accountabilty towards data. He highlighted the key challenges faced by Data Protection Authorities when assessing the quality of data protection in cloud: lack of transparency about the cloud integration chain, pressure on cost, which makes providers offer standard terms and conditions. He mentioned the possibility for the cloud industry to propose a code of conduct to help in the transition to the GDPR. He also highlighted the need to create and maintain a terminology of cloud computing terms to provide clarity along the policy making process and help advance the common understanding of all stakeholders through the fast pace of change in technologies. In the following panel, Mr. Wiewiorowski and the participants (Romanian Data Protection Authority, legal experts) discussed about the newly adopted transatlatic data flow agreement EU-US Privacy Shield and the work in progress which is being done by the parties to ensure all assumed obligations are respected.
During the event a study has been presented on the possible implications the Network and Information Security Directive can have on cloud providers, in view of the intraterritorial and distributed nature of cloud services. The newly adopted EU directive should be transposed and applied in the national law in Europe by 2018. One of the conclusions focused on the need for convergence of the data protection and network and information security legislation in view to ensure a coherent approach following the development of technology and ensure further unencumbered growth of the sector in Europe.
Mrs. Linda Strick, coordinator of the CloudforEurope project with the Fraunhofer Fokus, presented the lessons learnt during the project. CloudforEurope's goal is to create pre-procurement guidelines for European public sector such as it is easier to buy cloud services. Mrs Strick reported that there is overwhelming evidence that precommercial procurement increases both the participation of SMEs to public sector tenders and the awarding of actual contracts to SMEs. Some of the stumbling blocks relate to the lack of awareness around the concept of precommercial procurement and the high level of complexity needed to qualify cloud providers.
Mr. Thomas von Bülow, Board member of the Trusted Cloud initiative supported by the Federal German Ministry of Economy and Energy, presented the steps taken so far to allow wide adoption of cloud services throughout the German public and private sector, the criteria and minimum requirements to be met by cloud providers, as well as the coordination done with other European initiatives and organizations to ensure standardization, synchronization of criteria catalogues and mutual recognition of certification.
Mrs. Michaela Iorga has presented the work done in development of cloud standards by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA). In addition to initial definition of cloud computing, and based on the USG 25-point plan of IT modernization and reform, NIST assumed a technical leadership role for Federal agencies’ efforts related to the adoption and development of cloud computing standards. NIST developed a cloud computing reference architecture, a security reference architecture, guidance to applying a risk based approach to cloud adoption, guidance for applying security and privacy controls to cloud-based federal information systems and security recommendations to full virtualization and hypervisors. Some of the current work is focusing on developing service level agreement (SLA) guidance, cloud metrics, federated identity in a cloud ecosystem, application containers, cloud forensics reference architecture and, last, but not least, the development of an open security controls assessment language (OSCAL) that aims to revolutionize every single step in the life cycle of a cloud-based information system.
Mr. Andreas Weiss, Director of EuroCloud Germany, has presented the research project NGCert, focusing on trusted Cloud Services quality by dynamic certification, data protection and safety requirements. Cloud service certifications are a good means to establish trust, increase transparency of the cloud market, and allow providers to improve their processes and systems. Several certifications, such as “Star Audit” issued by EuroCloud, have recently evolved and attempt to assure a high level of security, availability, and legal compliance for a validity period of one to three years. However, cloud services are part of an ever-changing environment resulting from fast technology life cycles and inherent cloud computing characteristics. Hence, such long validity periods may put in doubt a reliability of issued certificates. Conditions and requirements of such certifications may no longer be met throughout these periods, for instance, due to configuration changes or major security incidents. The presentation showed the current intermediate outcomes with ongoing tests for Geo Location, System Access and Functional Service availability.
During the event, Mr. Severin Loeffler, Microsoft has presented the "Cloud for Global Good" book, a roadmap to a trusted, responsible and inclusive cloud, including 78 policy recommendations for cloud development in key areas.
On the technology stage, speakers coming from international cloud solution providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, as well as european and romanian cloud solution providers, debated topics like digital transformation, the benefits of open technologies, infrastructure for datacenters, smart cities, and many others.
Next to the content area, the event has featured an exhibition area as well, where the participants could interact with romanian and international cloud providers ad get to know their solutions: Veeam, Fabasoft, Lifesize, SAP, Ymens, Star Storage, MPI Consulting, Bittnet.
In the evening of the day 1 of the Forum, on 5th of October, over 150 VIP guests of the European cloud ecosystem have participated to the EuroCloud Awards Gala, where the best cloud solution providers, already winners in their contries, were awarded as the European Best of the Best in 5 cloud service categories:
Best Cloud Service for Horizontal Markets – GTS Cloudsuite, GTS Telecom (Romania)
Best Cloud Service for Vertical Markets – ComCloud – Cloud Delivey Platform, Combis (Croația) and Lega Cloud, Innova Bilisim Cozumleri (Turkey)
Best Cloud Services provided by Start-Up CSP’s – Medius CloudSE (Cloud Secure Element), Medius d.o.o. (Slovenia)
Best Business Impact provided by Cloud Services – Arcelik the Spare Parts Forecasting Project, Arcelik A.Ș (Turcia)
- Best Cloud Transformation Methods – Trusted Cloud Europe, European Business Reliance Center (Luxembourg).
For more information on the finalists and winners of the EuroCloud Europe Awards please view the related announcement: https://www.eurocloud.org/news/detail/news/eurocloud-europe-announces-the-2016-european-awards-nominees-1.html
Elena Zvarici, president of EuroCloud Romania, has declared:
”We are glad we were chosen to host the 7th edition of the EuroCloud Europe Forum in Bucharest Romania and we could turn our city into the cloud capital of Europe for 2 days. Through the quality of speakers and discussions the participants have tuned into the concrete outcomes of European cloud policy and the latest trends in cloud technology and research.
We were able to present to the world a vibrant and innovative side of the European cloud sector which is growing fast and turning the European IT industry into a provider of value added solutions worldwide.”
The speakers' presentations are available at this link.
More information on the Forum can be found on the event website at http://forum.eurocloud.org
Elena Zvarici, elena.zvarici [at] eurocloud.org
Organizer: Universum Events
Coorganizer: EuroCloud Romania
Sponsors: Veeam, Fabasoft, SAP, Star Storage, Ymens, Microsoft.
Partner associations: Digital Europe, ARIES, Asociatia IT, APDETIC, BCCBR – Romanian–Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, CCIFER – Romanian–French Chamber of Commerce, CIO Council Romania, DCIA, ICT Cluster Bulgaria, NRCC, Poland Connection.
Media Partners: Agora, Business24, Ibusiness.com, IT Channel, IT Trends, New Edition News, Tech Cafe, Telco Professionals, Today Software Magazine, Ziare.com.