Neelie Kroes – Cloud Computing In Europe Needs To Be Embraced Sooner

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Cloud computing in Europe:

Picking up an article over at computer weekly we take a look at the European level policy on cloud computing and wonder what is being done to push this technology into wider use.

Speaking at the Davos Economic Forum meeting over in Switzerland, Neelie Kroes, the woman in charge of Europe’s digital agenda has been discussing the option of having everyone involved in cloud computing to join in a harmonious partnership to bring the benefit of this technology to more people, businesses and governments throughout Europe and quicker.

The calls were for European local authorities, industry in general, cloud buyers and suppliers to create the partnership to effectively orchestrate the mass migration from hardware based processing, backup and file storage to the cloud based option on the grounds of scale, security and efficiency.

Kroes said:

“Cloud Computing will change our economy. It can bring significant productivity benefits to all, right through to the smallest companies, and also to individuals. It promises scalable, secure services for greater efficiency, greater flexibility, and lower cost,” she said.

But with issues such as standards, agreed certification, data protection, wide ranging legal issues between member states, and data kept in the cloud and interoperability, the currently slow progress is seemingly hampered by these issues, but why the need to push this technology so quickly.

Is the cloud really all that beneficial?

Let us face it the cloud is potentially very dangerous to any business, as it leaves more and more control of your data and communication in the hands of other corporations and governments and will be a significant cost positive to implement, with negligible gains in the short term.

So what will Kroes do to overcome these shared feelings towards the cloud?

With the barriers in question a rather vague answer was offered:

“Where these barriers exist, I am determined to overcome them,”

With the EC’s new rules regarding data protection on the regulatory side making some small progress, she did stress that these moves forward would include provision for cloud based storage legal issues.

“In the first phase, the Partnership will come up with common requirements for Cloud procurement. For this it will look at standards; it will look at security; it will look at ensuring competition, not lock-in. In the second phase, the Partnership will deliver proof of concept solutions for the common requirements, and in the third phase, reference implementations will be built,”

€10 million initial investment from the European Cloud Partnership:

Exactly what the suggested €10 million investment from the European Cloud Partnership aims to achieve I am unsure but it sounds like a pathetic amount of money to achieve such widespread aims as she has suggested.

Looking at the plan it appears that aiming small is the agenda to start with a plan which appears to be one of bringing the initial idea of procuring cloud computing technology to local government level throughout the EU who are all open ears to anything that can save money, yes it would appear that the Bilderberg group sure now how to steer policy from the outside in in very intriguing ways.

Talking of the strategies for the next year and beyond, Kroes states:

“We are already talking to potential partners and working on setting up this European Cloud Partnership. No doubt the concept will evolve as more details are fixed. These will be set out, together with other elements, in the European Cloud Computing Strategy later this year. A strategy as a whole to ensure Europe becomes not just Cloud-friendly, but Cloud-active,”

Questions still remain:

Speaking around the business community I sense that many business owners are very skeptical on cloud computing for the simple fear that it removes some control (albeit in the disguise of safety) from the owners of software, applications and data into a managed and paid for service where you are in less control of that very supply line that you need to run an effective business.

As a business owner what do you think to adopting cloud computing?

There are obvious benefits in some areas, but there seem to be some questions still remaining on the full extent adoption that should be considered.

So if standards and other areas of legal greyness were ironed out and more transparent would this help you in your decision to go fully cloud or partially cloud based as a business?

Discussing the article on computer weekly one commentator going by the name of Hogspace states that:

What rubbish is this, I wonder who set the guy up to say this. No company of mine will be using storage that isn’t 100% owned and controlled by me, Internet/Intranet connected or not.

Not sure as he read the article fully though as he is a she!

Anthony Munns