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The European Cloud Computing Strategy: Getting It Right

The benefits of cloud computing increasingly are being recognized by policymakers and regulators around the world. Organizations of all kinds can now do more with less initial investment, making use of the best online technologies the software industry can offer.

The European Commission is mindful of these developments and the potential value of the cloud for businesses, governments and end users in the European Union (EU). Commissioner Neelie Kroes, the Directorate General for the Digital Agenda for Europe, in particular has embraced cloud computing’s promise to deliver “unprecedented flexibility and economies of scale.”

In order to ensure the best policy framework is enacted to support the development of a “European cloud economy,” Commissioner Kroes announced earlier this year the creation of a European Cloud Computing Strategy and subsequently a series of consultations with stakeholders to share views on how to set the right strategy for Europe.

This week, the Commission launched an online public consultation, which BSA welcomes and to which we will contribute views on a comprehensive approach to cloud computing in Europe.

In addition, as announced in Davos earlier this year, Commissioner Kroes has invited cloud providers and cloud users to Brussels next week to share views on the European Cloud Computing Strategy. BSA will join other industry stakeholders to help Commissioner Kroes determine the policy framework needed to allow cloud computing technologies to mature and develop in Europe.  

At BSA, we have been thinking about this for a while now. In February, we released a 10-step policy plan for cloud computing in Europe, the BSA Cloud Computing Policy Agenda for Europe, at a lunch with Member of the European Parliament Ivailo Kalfin. Central to BSA’s vision is that policy decisions on hitherto disparate issues like cybersecurity, data protection, interoperability and intellectual property rights, must be tackled in a holistic manner — with a view to their impacts on the future of cloud computing.

We believe this 10-step plan — partly legislative, partly not — covers the essential elements of a comprehensive cloud computing strategy for Europe that will boost users’ privacy and security in the cloud, promote the development of standards and infrastructures, and ensure the clarity necessary for computing innovations like cloud to deliver on their promises.

BSA is pleased to be part of this dialogue and we applaud Commissioner Kroes’ initiative. We look forward to the outcomes of next week’s meetings and future collaboration on the right approach for a European Cloud Computing Strategy.

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