(14/12/2011) Industry leaders are asking the European Commission to provide for a coherent legal framework for Cloud Computing services, to help EU businesses participate in a global market forecast to reach 70 billion euros annually in 2015. The request forms part of 10 recommendations from industry regarding the future European Cloud Computing Strategy to be presented in 2012.
Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "I went to the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2011 with a vision for a 'cloud-active' Europe. Having received the views of industry and our citizens I will go back to Davos in 2012 in order to announce the first concrete actions and start building a European Cloud Computing Partnership."
The group's recommendations are addressed to both the Commission and the industry, suggesting specific actions for each. For example: the group recommends the Commission ensure the upcoming reform proposal on data protection is compatible with Cloud computing and works to facilitate the uptake of Cloud computing by SMEs. The industry, on the other hand, should work together to increase the transparency of Cloud computing offerings and to envisage the creation of voluntary certification mechanisms to enhance trust and security.
Cloud computing enables companies, public administrations and individuals, using networks such as the Internet, to access their data and software on computers located somewhere else. Using Cloud services can drastically reduce a company's technology costs.
Those who helped prepare the industry recommendations were representing: Accenture, Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Amazon, AMD, AVG Technologies, BSA, Cabinet DN for BSA, Canon, Cisco, Dell, Dassault Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Enisa, EuroCIO, EuroCloud, Google, HP, Huawei Technologies, Iambic Innovation, IBM, Intel, Logica, Microsoft, Nokia, N-Square, Open Forum Europe, Oracle, Orange FT group, Panasonic, SAP, Symantec, TechAmericaEurope, Telecom Italia, Apple, Telefonica and Verizon.
The experts formed four Working Groups (Privacy, Governance and ID management; Trust, Security and Certification; Interoperability, Portability and Reversibility; and Innovation and Uptake).
The main findings of the Commission's 2011 public consultation on cloud computing, which ran from 16 May to 31 August 2011, included:
- The legal framework on Cloud Computing, as it stands, is confusing. Citizens, industry and public administrations all have difficulty understanding their rights.
- The public sector is not setting an adequate example.
- Cloud Computing is global, and therefore needs an accompanying set of international agreements.
- More research is needed to ensure the Cloud meets user expectations
Towards a European Cloud Computing Strategy