A European Union-funded project called Cloudcatalyst has been set up to assess the current cloud computing market in Europe, identify barriers to cloud adoption and provide tools to boost its growth in the region.
The project aims to instill confidence in European businesses, public entities, ICT providers and other cloud stakeholders eager to develop and use cloud services.
It will create “a strong and enthusiastic community of cloud adopters and supporters in Europe”, according to Cordis, the European Commission's project funding arm.
According to the EC, cloud computing is a “revolution” but its providers are still struggling to captivate and build trust among businesses and everyday citizens. “Cloud-sceptics” are concerned over data security and legal exposure and a lack of information around cloud is hindering its adoption.
The Cloudcatalyst project will tackle this issue by providing useful tools to foster the adoption of cloud computing in Europe and to boost the European cloud market, according to Cordis, the European Commission’s primary public repository that gives information about EU-funded projects.
The project, which is funded by FP7 – the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development – will target all cloud players. These include software developers, members of the scientific community developing and deploying cloud computing services, incubators at the local, national and European levels, large industries, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs.
With a total budget of over €50bn, the project will primarily analyse practices across Europe and identify the conditions for a successful adoption.
“We will cover all the main issues around cloud and give a clear overview on a number of topics, such as current cloud trends, critical success factors to overcome major technical barriers, data privacy and compliance requirements, and recommendations for quality of service and cloud SLA," said Dalibor Baskovc, vice-president at EuroCloud Europe, one of the project partners.
We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe
Francisco Medeiros, European Commission
The project will also create a series of tools to help stakeholders create value-added cloud products and services. These consist of the Cloud Accelerator Toolbox and the Go-to-the-Cloud service platform – a collection of management tools bundling together trend analysis, use cases and practical recommendations in the form of printable report templates and instructional videos.
“The tools we are developing will help companies adopt and deploy cloud solutions, whatever their different needs and requirements are,” said Baskovc.
The project will also carry out a number of market surveys to gather key information and produce an overview of the cloud adoption status, such as why companies should develop cloud services, the main internal problems in adopting a cloud product, the associated risks and how these issues can be addressed.
According to the European Commission, cloud computing has the potential to employ millions in Europe by 2020.
“We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe,” Francisco Medeiros, deputy head of unit, software and services, cloud computing at the European Commission told the Datacentres Europe 2014 audience in May this year. “Cloud is one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe.”
In 2013, worldwide hardware products grew by 4.2% to €401bn, while software and services grew by 4.5% to €877bn, signifying the importance of software services, said Medeiros.