EU Lays Out Cloud Computing Strategy: 3 Takeaways for Businesses Operating in Europe

In late September, the European Commission published “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe,” a detailed report on the current state and future promise of working “in the cloud” across the EU.

The report sets the stage for what the Commission hopes will be a rapid development of cloud computing technology and services, while laying down the groundwork for legal, technical, and privacy standards that will ease that growth.

For businesses with operations in Europe, three takeaways:

1. The EC sees cloud computing as a boon to all businesses in the region:

“The Commission supplies an analysis of the basic elements of the nature and the various benefits of cloud computing, while stressing that the possible replacement of internally run data centers and ICT departments of large companies and public administration organizations by cloud services would create greater economies of scale that would deliver considerable efficiencies and eventually lead to substantial growth in the Single Market.” (McKenna Long & Aldridge)

2. A key objective is to make cloud computing more accessible to end users:

“The EC wants to ensure that individuals, governmental entities, companies and other organizations that want to use cloud services will not need to be concerned that cloud service providers will fail to meet the relatively stringent European data protection requirements. The EC sees this concern as an obstacle to wider adoption of cost-saving cloud services in Europe. The EC has already signaled that it intends to develop model contract terms covering data preservation after a cloud service contract ends, data disclosure and integrity, data location, data transfer, ownership of data and liability.” (Mintz Levin)

3. Service providers will be required to obtain certification and meet technical standards:

“The Commission supports the development of uniform standards and the certification of organizations providing cloud computing services. The Commission will be tasking the European Telecommunications Standards Institute with developing a set of necessary standards for security, interoperability, data portability and reversibility. The Commission will also assist in the development of an EU-wide voluntary certification scheme.” (Fraser Milner Casgrain)

Read the updates:

Follow @EULaws on Twitter>>