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EU Strategy a Positive First Step Toward Boosting Cloud Computing in Europe, BSA Says

October 2012 by BSA (Business Software Alliance)

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today called the European Commission’s strategy, “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe,” an important achievement which moves Europe toward a more harmonized approach to cloud computing services. However, BSA cautioned policymakers that a European cloud is not the endgame, as the greatest benefit of cloud computing is its global scale.

“The global cloud computing market is booming and offers tremendous opportunities in and beyond the Single Market. But the Commission’s strategy should only be the first step toward Europe achieving its cloud goals,” said Thomas Boué, Director of Government Relations, EMEA for BSA. “In implementing the new strategy, policymakers need to align privacy and security rules so that data can flow across international borders. Creating barriers to the free flow of data beyond Europe would impose inefficiencies and could cut off European companies from the fastest-growing cloud markets in Asia and elsewhere around the world.”

To date, the burgeoning cloud computing market in Europe has been largely national in practice. The result is a patchwork of incompatible cloud networks that threatens to further stymie widespread adoption of cloud computing services in the EU. Recent survey data from BSA found that less than a quarter (24 percent) of Europeans access cloud computing services compared to 34 percent globally, and the vast majority of European PC users are unfamiliar with cloud computing—65 percent have “never heard of it” or have “only heard the name.”

“The success of the Commission’s cloud strategy relies on coordination and cooperation across multiple Directorates, many of whom are already at work on critical dossiers related to the cloud,” Boué added. “They must set rules that are forward-looking and future-proof as the speed of innovation will always outpace policymakers’ ability to draft policies.”

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