EuroCloud was pleased to see the European Commission propose a way for Europe to achieve global leadership in the digital economy with the recent release of the European Cloud Initiative. The initiative, which falls under the wider Digital Single Market Strategy, is proposing investments into the science and research sector to create the incentives and tools to share and use data as widely as possible, underpinned by building a strong cloud and data infrastructure in Euro
Developing the European Open Science Cloud
The development of an Open Science Cloud will allow researchers and science professionals a place to store, share and re-use data and can set the foundation for data driven innovation in Europe. We would like to see the European open science cloud serve as a model for the use of cloud in the private and public sector and we welcome the Commission’s plan to extend the user base over time to the industry and to governments.
This will be an important step in the process as the Commission needs to ensure that there is a focus on future economic growth in order to build a competitive cloud industry in Europe. We need to ensure that the market demand for cloud solutions continues to increase and cloud adoption is encouraged in vertical industries like finance, banking, health, agriculture.
The uptake of cloud services among European SMEs needs to be further encouraged. The large disparities in cloud adoption across Europe, the multitude of legal frameworks, the different languages and the lack of digital skills make it difficult for European cloud providers to sell from one country to another and develop cross-border within the internal European market. European Cloud providers need further coordinated support in addressing the market, widening trust on user side and raising awareness on the benefits of cloud adoption.
It will be important that the Commission helps European cloud providers in this regard, in order to make sure they are leading and not following the global innovation race in emerging technologies and sectors such as smart cities, connected cars, smart logistics through the smart use of data to develop new services in e-government and industry sectors such as finance, agriculture and health.
Developing the European Data Infrastructure
The Cloud Initiative focuses on building high-bandwidth networks, high-performance computing and a European Big Data Centre is a great starting point for creating a strong data infrastructure in Europe. Whether it is services that use real time data from sensors or applications that link data from different sources, we need to have the infrastructure and conditions to handle these large amounts of data.
However, trust is a crucial issue when it comes to using and sharing data. Business and consumers need to feel confident in adopting new technologies. By working with the public and private sector to develop trust, by providing a clear legal framework in security, data protection and further working to develop cloud-specific certifications schemes, we can be confident that cloud services become consumers’ first choice when it is about going digital or upgrading from the traditional IT delivery model.
Widening trust through certification and standards
The development of clear standards for cloud interoperability, data portability and service level agreements will ensure certainty and transparency for both cloud providers and end-users. This should be complemented by the implementation of the European General Data Protection regulation, the Network and Information Security Directive and the free flow of data initiative to be released at the end of 2016.
A clear legal framework and widely accepted standards fit for the digital age will give confidence to cloud providers to keep innovating and to users to further adopt cloud services.
The outlook for cloud computing in Europe is bright, but we need to ensure that we create a cloud ecosystem that promotes the development of the European cloud industry and the further adoption of cloud services in Europe.
EuroCloud, as the largest and fastest growing Cloud Computing community in Europe, fully understands the need for all stakeholders to work together in developing the conditions and infrastructure for cloud services to grow in Europe. Through this we can create a flourishing data economy in Europe that enables innovation and new services with economic and social benefits.
EuroCloud Europe is the European umbrella organization of more than 20 national EuroCloud associations throughout Europe. EuroCloud Europe is a pan-European hub, a vendor neutral knowledge sharing network between Cloud Computing Customers and Providers, Start-ups and Research centres. EuroCloud maintains a constant open dialogue with all partners to bring IT and business together.
The upcoming annual EuroCloud Forum 2016 “Digital Single Market - Creating New frontiers in European cloud” will take place in Bucharest on 5-6 October. Join us as we look at technological and policy issues, including the European Cloud Initiative, cloud innovation, funding, data protection and security in the cloud: http://forum.eurocloud.org/
For further information please contact us or download the paper European Cloud Initiative - a Bright Outlook for Cloud in Europe