In January, Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda of Europe, announed the framework for a €10million European Cloud Partnership to facilitate moving European government agencies’ IT systems into the cloud. The partnership, involving public authorities and industry, cloud buyers and suppliers, will firstly, aim to establish common requirements for cloud procurement; standards, security and ensuring competition. Justifying her announcement Kroes said: “Cloud computing will change our economy. We need to act to support speedy uptake of cloud computing in Europe”.
In her announcement Kroes commented that small businesses are those who stand to gain most from the cloud. The cloud has been a great enabler for SMBs. It holds several key advantages, especially for SMBs over traditional IT sytems: low capital expenditure, SMBs generally have less data, low maintinence, scalability and access & sharing capabilities. This allows consumers to, as Kroes puts it “get more for less”. Collaboration, access and sharing have been key drivers of the cloud from the start and this initiative from the European Commission seems build on those beliefs.
Kroes has been very vocal in her supporting of cloud adoption and support in Europe. We share many of her thoughts on the cloud and the scheme is one we are fully behind. We will be talking on a similar subject at Structure:Data next week in New York, presenting how the cloud can dissect, digest and deliver on Big Data.