Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Unleashing potential of Future Internet and Cloud computing

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The main goal of this session was to show how future internet and cloud computing can change the future. This session was coordinated by Mario Campolargo (director of DG CONNECT/E “Net futures”) and the speakers were experienced and successful high level executives in this field.

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The session was started by a talk of iMinds CEO, Wim De WAELE, who mentioned key moments in his career that changed and shape his business perspective. He challenged large companies to provide an environment to startups for growing and creating a dynamic ecosystem between them in order to boost innovation especially in the area of future Internet and cloud computing. Additionally, governments must also play a significant role to the development of these ecosystems. They have to act carefully to ensure equality and to create a common playground for the different technology players.
 
Stephan Fischer, from SAP AG, in a more technology-oriented view, presented the concept of cloud-based real-time value added networks. He pointed out the current challenges found in the internet and cloud systems, such as security and data handling problems. As a solution, he also explored the creation of global open cloud-based ecosystem that will fuel new jobs and opportunities.
 
Scalability was the main issue highlighted by Pascale Vicat-Blanc, CEO of LYATISS. The constant growing of cloud usage by different applications increased the complexity of network systems. At the moment, we need to create solutions where networks adapt to applications, not constricting them. This will generate an environment suitable for unrestricted applications and improve user experience.
 
Current technological experiences and customer’s point of view were explored by Roberto Saracco (EIT ICT LABS). The way the increase of cloud usage affects system efficiency and costs was the main topic addressed. The increase of technology usage will require more processing and storage capacity, which is already available (e.g through the use of the smartphones) and can be harvested. The issue of how we are losing the ownership (in terms of data openness) of our ideas and data must be faced, in order to ensure appropriate added value for the owner and the society. Finally, he provided a glance at the future, where cloud is moving at the edges, playing a key role in storage processing and communication.
 
The audience asked several questions about the difficulties in creating startups and the impact of providing open source software instead of “closed” software. As a solution, the speakers proposed a strategy where large companies may act as service providers and startups focus in applications development and the coexistence of free and privately licensed software to enhance the creation of value.
 
As last thought, this session gave us a glance at the future of internet and cloud systems and how we can explore them properly. At a near future, using adaptable network systems and making use of a global and dynamic cloud-based ecosystem, researchers and developers will be free to create applications without today's constraints.

Session Reporters: Andrius Košuba,  Catarina Runa Miranda