EU eyes a cloud computing heaven

Sep 27, 2012
People crowd at a cloud computing exhibition at the CeBIT IT fair in Germany. With the cloud computing business still in its relatively early days, the European Union has moved to secure a toehold in a potentially lucrative market it says could deliver 2.5 million new jobs.

With the cloud computing business still in its relatively early days, the European Union moved on Thursday to secure a toehold in a potentially lucrative market it says could deliver 2.5 million new jobs.

"We want to make Europe not just cloud-friendly but cloud-active," said the EU's commissioner for digital affairs Neelie Kroes, announcing plans to develop European standards and certifications to get business to join the cloud.

"Cloud computing" consists of storing data and software on remote servers accessed over the Internet by e-mail, social network or video-game users without having to invest in added software.

Using remote servers in centres that can be the size of football fields is popular with services such as and Spotify but as an economy of scale, the system cuts IT costs for businesses by 10 to 20 percent.

Kroes estimated a speed-up in the use of cloud computing both in the and by public services could add 160 billion euros ($206 billion) to the EU economy—or around 1.0 percent—by 2020.

"But this can only happen if we get the policies right," she said. "Today many potential users think it is too complicated, too risky or too untrustworthy."

The EU needed to set standards by 2013, approve EU-wide certification schemes and help develop contracts to reassure users, she said.

Europe must reconquer its lost technological edge, Kroes said. "We were in the driver's seat in the 1990s. We should come back."

With cloud-computing currently one of the fastest growing sources of as centres leave servers running 24/7, the EU also is funding a scheme to "green" the cloud through the use of new, more efficient technology.

The Eurocloud project aims to reduce power needs by 90 percent in conventional data centres by adapting low-power microprocessor technologies commonly used in mobile phones.

Explore further: Zynga founder Pincus leaving operations role

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oracle buys 'cloud' service firm RightNow

Oct 24, 2011

Enterprise software giant Oracle said Monday it had struck a deal to buy RightNow Technologies, which helps companies manage their cloud computing activities, for $1.5 billion.

SAP sees new acquisition as boon for cloud computing

Dec 11, 2011

The acquisition of US firm Success Factors by SAP will make the German software giant number one in "cloud computing" and show a profit from 2013, a top SAP executive said in an interview published Saturday.

Recommended for you

Amazon Prime wins streaming deal with HBO

9 hours ago

Amazon scored a deal Wednesday to distribute old shows from premium cable TV channel HBO to its monthly Prime subscribers, landing a blow on rival Netflix in the streaming video battle.

LinkedIn to anchor new San Francisco high-rise

19 hours ago

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says the professional networking site LinkedIn will expand its presence in the city by anchoring a high-rise office building under construction.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
1 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2012
Eurocloud Cuckoo Land has as much chance of success as its Cuckoo Land Euro.

More news stories

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.