Politics is all about implementation. And today we have taken another step forward in implementing our European Cloud Strategy.
One of the big barriers to using cloud computing is a lack of trust. People don't always understand the terms in their contract: what they're paying for, and what they can expect. Well, I think you should be able to know what you're getting and what it means - and it should be easy to ensure that the terms in your contract are reasonable: open, transparent, safe and fair. Even if you don't have a law degree. Deciding on what those contracts could be is a tricky question: we need a formal expert group to take a hard look at that issue.
Today we are asking for nominations for who could sit on such a group: appropriately qualified experts who could help us undertake this important and pressing task. This is a key pillar of our European Cloud Computing Strategy - and something which I know is heavily sought after by stakeholders, especially consumers. Particularly small firms: who might hesitate to use the cloud because of fears that they will not meet their legal obligations, or who might be worried that they get locked in or stranded by changes of technology or service by cloud providers. They don't want the risk of getting mired in foreign court cases in foreign languages; nor of exposing the data which may be their business's life blood to security risks or breaches. And they cannot afford costly legal fees to figure all this out case by case.
That's important because it is those same small businesses who stand to gain particularly from the cloud. Services that are flexible and adaptable, without high start-up costs, can really help those smaller companies boost Europe's growth and jobs, it can transform how we do business and bring the best in class technologies within economic reach of small firms everywhere. With contracts that are trustworthy, safe and fair, we can - not just protect our consumers - but also give our continent a needed cloud boost.
This and other issues will be discussed at the next meeting of our European Cloud Partnership Steering Board in Tallinn on 4 July - I am very much looking forward to discussing with President Ilves and other private and public sector leaders.
Twitter hashtag: #cloudstrategy