What is the problem?
The fear of public administration to transform themselves and adopt new technologies; the fragmented public sector demand for cloud services in the EU.
Why is EU action required?
EU action is required to enhance the awareness on benefits and value of cloud-based services and applications in the public sector, identify and describe best practice use cases and, facilitate the launch of pilots for those application areas where current cloud take-up is absent or however limited.
What has the Commission done so far?
The European Commission eGovernment Action plan, the Digital Agenda for Europe and the recent EU Cloud Computing Strategy under their different perspectives highlight the need for an evolution of Public Services towards the Cloud in order to deliver innovative services. Briefly the EU Cloud Computing Strategy covers three broad areas: the legal framework, the technical and commercial fundamentals and the market take-up.
In the wider context of the third area (market take-up) this action supports pilots aiming at cloud deployment by harnessing the power of public procurement of Member State public sector authorities (at central, regional and local levels). Moreover one of the Key Actions foreseen in the Cloud Computing Strategy is the European Cloud Partnership (ECP), bringing together cooperating public authorities working with industry consortia to implement a pre-commercial procurement action. The purpose is to overcome the fragmented public sector demand for cloud services in the EU.
What will the Commission do next?
Following the study SMART 2011/0055 'Clouds for science and public authorities', the Commission published in November 2013 the study SMART 2012/0069 'Analysis of cloud best practices and pilots for the public sector' , which analyses the Member States’ overall approach to cloud deployments and cloud-based applications/services that are being implemented or are planned for implementation.The study provides a detailed and up-to-date analysis of cloud initiatives at national level and deployments in the public sector in ten Member States. It dentifies best practice use cases and proposes pilots for those application areas where current cloud take-up is absent or however limited.
In addition, under the 'Objective 1.1: Cloud of Public Services of CIP ICT PSP Work Programme 2013' , the Commission financed several pilots for up to 18M€ of total EU contribution. Building on previous CIP projects, pilots in this objective will test and validate a set of cloud-based services in view of wider deployment of such public services and, in particular, to prepare the migration by public authorities to cloud computing-based solutions to deliver online public services. 6 projects are currently being negotiated and are expected to be launched in early 2014. These pilots will complement the activities of the European Could Partnership.