The European Commission (the “Commission”) has commenced a public consultation in order to gather views on the best strategies to utilise and exploit cloud computing. The Commission is specifically interested in the views of parties such as cloud developers and cloud users.
The trend towards the use of cloud computing is increasing rapidly with the technology already being widely used for services such as web-based email. By 2014 it is estimated that cloud computing will generate €35 billion of revenues in Europe.
It is expected that the continued development of this service industry will lead to significant cost savings for businesses and public authorities, as there will not be a need to install and maintain expensive computing hardware and software. Growth in this area is expected to provide significant expansion opportunities for the technology and telecoms companies that provide such services.
Key areas on which the Commission is hoping to receive feedback include issues surrounding data protection, as well as other potential legal and technical barriers to the development of cloud computing. Information is also sought on the uptake of cloud computing by various parties, especially small and medium sized enterprises.
The launch of the cloud computing consultation by the Commission is in preparation for the release of a comprehensive cloud computing strategy in 2012. As part of this strategy, the Commission has stated it intends to facilitate the introduction of cloud computing services in Europe through the clarification of the various legal issues surrounding cloud computing and by helping to stimulate a competitive cloud industry.
The public consultation will end on 31 August 2011. For previous articles on cloud computing, please see the links below:
Contributed by David Cullen, Technology Partner.