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Expert group outlines plans for cloud computing roadmap

A group of 18 specialists from the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector have outlined plans to assist the EU commissioner Neelie Kroes to roll out cloud computing across Europe in the next two years.

In the next two years, the steering board of the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) intends to initiate three pilot projects for cloud computing to be used in applications such as health, education and electronic ID programmes. The group also recommends the introduction of voluntary certification schemes for cloud providers, which they say would increase trust in the technology.

The advisory group for the ECP, which brings together member states and industry, met for the first time yesterday (19 November) to decide how best to develop a single market for cloud computing across Europe. The steering group says it will assist the Commission in producing a roadmap for the development of the technology.

Uptake of cloud computing—the storage and processing of data on remotely located computers accessed over the internet—has so far been limited in Europe, largely because of concerns about data security. Many large organisations believe that they can better safeguard their own data on their own computer systems, and are reluctant to deposit it on a shared network, or ‘cloud’. However, the ECP intends to increase use of the technology, with a target of 25 per cent of public computing usage becoming cloud-based by 2015.

The meeting of the ECP steering board follows the publication of the European Commission’s strategy for cloud computing in September (see RET 28 Sept 12).

On Friday, Peter Hustinx, the European data protection supervisor, published his opinion on the strategy. Huztinx recommends specific measures to ensure that increased use of cloud computing is accompanied by an adequate level of protection for users, including clarification of legal definitions and improved standards.