EU To Create Cloud Guidelines

Leave it to the folks in the European Union, with the British Standard, then ITIL, more recently announcing formal CIO role definitions, and now they are creating guidelines for the Cloud.  These guys make me proud of my elders.  Rather than sit back and wait for a crisis to force their hand, they are sticking it out there to at least document and strategize the problems that they foresee, covering areas such as data security, privacy regulations and common approaches to cloud deployment.

European digital commissioner Neelie Kroes said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, these were some of the major issues facing cloud computing, and that the European Union itself had a part to play in the process.  It is a complex situation and nobody is likely to have all the answers.  Cloud computing, in some form, she said, will happen anyway. “We can help make it happen smoother and faster”

With so many governments looking for ways to cut spending, Kroes addressed the cost-saving element in the technology but warned that it cannot not mean relaxing other safeguards. “A clear role of governments is also to ensure that European achievements, such as effective data protection and the EU’s Single Market, do not clash with cloud computing,” she said.  Kroes outlined the three key areas that the EU would get involved in:

  • The legal framework for data protection and privacy;
  • Technical and commercial fundamentals particularly in areas such as security
  • Technical standardisation of APIs and data formats.

Finally, the EU would support pilot projects aiming at cloud deployment, said Kroes.