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Europe unveils new cloud computing strategy

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The European Commision has published a new digital strategy aimed at “enabling and facilitating faster adoption of cloud computing” across all sectors that will boost EU GDP by €160 billion, or 1%, by 2020.

Cloud computing, like many other technical terms, is of course a buzzword, but an important one – especially to Ireland. Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, stated earlier this year that the country “can become the cloud computing capital of the world”.

Cloud computing describes the remote storage and retrieval of data by users, and in particular businesses, over the internet. For enterprise especially, cloud computing is often cheaper than implementing local data storage solutions, the data is mobile and more accessible and can be more secure.

The EC has stated that 80% of organisations that adopt cloud strategies achieve cost savings of at least 10-20%.

The report outlines three key actions of the EC’s strategy. They are;

  • to identify cloud computing standards by 2013. Cloud service providers should be certified to ensure that they meet the standards to be established and regulated by an authority to ensure legal compliance. It’s hoped that the establishment of standards will aid interoperability and data portability between providers.
  • to introduce ‘safe and fair’ service level agreements between cloud provider and their users. It’s hoped that this will eliminate “complex contracts” and “extensive disclaimers” and establish a “basis of trust” that cloud users can have in their provider’s ability to deliver cloud services.
  • to establish procurement requirements whereby public sector agencies across all member states would be required to seek an agreed level of “features, performance, security, interoperability and data portability and compliance” when procuring IT services. It’s also envisaged that public sector requirements could be pooled together to bring higher efficiency.

The strategy, which EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes describes as “a game-changer” for Europe’s economy, can be read in full here.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.