Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Cloud computing

EU cloud computing strategy for better standards, safer contracts and more cloud in the public and private sector.
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The next big evolution for the internet is cloud computing, where everyone from individuals to major corporations and governments move their data storage and processing into remote data centres.

Cloud computing is where IT infrastructures, platforms and software are provided centrally and distributed to end users over a network. Centralising data storage and processing offers economies of scale even the largest organisations cannot achieve by themselves. Cloud computing therefore represents considerable savings in IT budgets, and the end of headaches linked to older computing methods. Private sector businesses using cloud computing report 10-20% lower IT costs, while cloud computing can also help the public sector improve efficiencies and lower costs.  Innovation would get a major boost, too, by offering research institutions much faster access to more data.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, cloud computing is developing rapidly, from individuals using the cloud to store personal data to major companies who have moved much of their IT services into it. Recent estimates are that these developments could double the EU cloud sector's current revenues to nearly €80 billion by 2020.

However, obstacles exist. The EU has therefore launched a three-pronged cloud computing strategy aiming to:

  • cut through the jungle of different standards;
  • identify safe and fair contract terms and conditions;
  • establish a European Cloud Partnership, with the participation of public authorities and industry, to stimulate the take-up and effective use of cloud computing, particularly by Europe's public sector.

Cloud computing can only work at EU-scale or greater, and demand for it will drive further investments in better networks. The cloud is the “killer app” for superfast broadband. On 11 September 2013 (calendar), we adopted a legislative package for a "Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market". The package could boost the cloud computing market in Europe, as, among others, it aims at improving the quality of service that new services (such as cloud computing, videoconferencing, 3D printing) can offer.

Last updated on 10/08/2015 - 11:17


Tanya Nikolova's picture
The ICT industry is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. Europe is in the lead in developing different ICT components. But how can Europe be in the lead of developing digital technology?
Pearse O'donohue's picture
The potential for innovation and growth that cloud computing represents was a key factor in the Commission's thinking in preparing the Digital Single Market strategy. We are starting to prepare a European Cloud initiative, which will address a number of important issues to provide trust and confidence and to enhance cloud take-up, as well as another action ensuring the free-flow of data. To get these measures right, and to ensure that we let cloud providers and cloud service users give their input to this work, we will engage in a comprehensive and transparent consultation process over the coming months.
Vladimir Bataev's picture
Vladimir BATAEV
MobiCloud project encourages startups and university students to challenge the problems faced by the construction industry and take part in this mobile app competition, which has already attracted submissions from 8 countries (and counting!)
Francisco Medeiros's picture
Francisco MEDEIROS
Today, cloud services are a commonplace for sending emails, sharing photos or watching movies. People and businesses are entering the cloud more than ever before. We need to continue doing more research in this field also beyond 2015. This is why the European Commission seeks everyone's opinion, especially from researchers, scientists and developers, on priorities for this research.
Silvana Muscella's picture
Imagine tripping up in your favourite pair of stilettos - unthinkable right?! Well the EU Cloud Scout lets SMEs stroll through a simple online tool providing them with guided, tailored information and recommendations on their use of Cloud without tripping up along the way.
Ana Juan Ferrer's picture
Atos has elaborated on a European industry perspective on Service Level Agreements to support more detailed definitions, applicable to both private and public sector, and bridging the two domains together with a standard taxonomy of SLA terms. Atos perspective has been contributed to current works Cloud Select Industry Group on Service Level Agreements and as part of Atos contributions to European Cloud Partnership Steering board. Atos perspective strongly relies on Atos contributions to related F7 Research Projects such as OPTIMIS, OPTIMIS: Optimized Infrastructure Services and Cloud4SOA.
Xavier Aubry's picture
Xavier AUBRY
Mobile cloud application project funded under the CIP framework wins 4 awards at the 12th annual Mobile Star Awards.
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