EU opens public consultation on cloud computing

The European Commission has launched a consultation on cloud computing to help define future research priorities

The European Commission has launched a consultation on cloud computing to collect views that will help define future research priorities in the areas of cloud services in Europe.

The Commission has called on all stakeholders including cloud service providers, research centres, academics, enterprise users, end users and small and medium businesses to contribute to the web-based initiative.

The opinions of the stakeholders will be used to determine the Commission’s cloud computing strategy ahead of the H2020 ICT Work Programme 2016-17.

The public consultation, which runs for a month starting today, has been opened by the Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect) – the body that manages the Digital Agenda for the EU.

DG Connect works at ensuring that digital technologies can help deliver the growth which the EU needs and falls under the responsibility of EC vice president Neelie Kroes.

“One of the goals of this consultation is to bring together existing and new stakeholders, in particular from innovative technological SMEs and from the public sector with the aim of better focusing the Work Programme so as to maximise its impact on competitiveness and growth,” the Commission said.

The main areas of cloud research focus, as identified by the Commission, include security and privacy protection in cloud-based services, development of federated cloud for complete interoperability of workloads, improving performance levels and data management.

The EC has identified cloud computing as one of the key areas that will stimulate growth and create jobs in the region.

But without a single cloud market, and easy-to-understand policies and cloud standards, it will be difficult to unleash the technology’s potential in the region, according to the Commission. Cloud computing has the potential to employ millions in the region by 2020.

The EC forecasts that EU enterprises will spend €35bn on public cloud services without policy intervention but will spend €78bn if appropriate policy interventions are applied.

"The EU needs to become not only cloud-friendly, but also cloud-active to fully realise the benefits of cloud computing. Besides allowing for the provision of cloud computing in its various forms, the relevant environment in the EU has to address the needs of end users and protect the rights of citizens,” Kroes has said previously.

Alongside cloud computing consultation, the EC has also opened another web-based public consultation on software (including open source) to collect views on research and innovation action-plan in the software area.

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