It’s a type of Rorschach inkblot test: two people could look at the EC’s Communication on the Digital Agenda for Europe and see interesting variations.
A Dutch businessman speaking during a workshop at the June 21 Eurocloud Congress described the document as the European Commission’s roadmap specifically for promoting cloud computing for European business. On the other hand, a keynote speaker at the event, a representative of the European Commission, pointed only to two paragraphs of the 40 page Digital Agenda as relevant to cloud computing, emphasizing the Commission’s funding of long-term scientific research projects and the intent of the Commission to develop a European cloud strategy in the coming years.
Literally, the Commission speaker, Carl-Christian Buhr, was correct. The specific references to cloud computing are minimal in this major EC policy document.
But the Dutch businessman, Maurice van der Woude, from a company called NetSourcing, was also correct, though coming from another perspective. He is a European entrepreneur investing in cloud computing for his future. He read the Communication, and saw everything he wanted to see in terms of potential government activity that can create the right environment for his business to thrive.
The Digital Agenda outlines actions to achieve ultra-fast internet access, security, privacy, interoperability, IT skills, and above all, a Digital Single Market. All of these are fundamental requirements for a successful European market for cloud computing, for users as well as suppliers. The Digital Agenda also intends to ensure the smart use of technology to address larger societal challenges. This is what cloud computing can deliver.
So even though the Digital Agenda does not identify cloud computing as the means towards its policy objectives, some people see it there. After the Commission pursues the many actions foreseen in the Communication, it may find that it already has the main elements of an EU strategy on cloud computing.