What Are The Implications Of The EU Cloud Strategy?

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HP’s Ian Brooks explains what the EU’s cloud strategy announcement means for cloud computing

Following on from the last week’s Neelie Kroes’ EU Cloud Strategy announcement, TechWeekEurope talked to Ian Brooks, Director of Innovation and Sustainable Computing at HP, about what it means for the future of the Cloud.

What is the European Cloud Partnership and who will participate in it?
The European Cloud Partnership is yet to be officially created, and it is not for HP to say whether there are members or indeed to speculate on who these members may be. We will, however, be glad to put our Cloud expertise at the Commission’s disposal should the offer come our way.

It took a year for the Digital Agenda commission to “identify the main issues that need to be addressed”. The European Cloud Strategy will be presented in the summer, and Neelie Kroes promised its first results in 2013. When will we see any real world impact of the strategy?
Moving into the cloud is a not a one-day journey and we are just at the beginning. Analyst data such as that from Gartner shows that adoption of cloud services will cause a significant shift in IT budget allocation: some 42 percent of respondents plan to spend at least ten percent of their annual IT budget on cloud computing by 2013, and half of those expect to spend more than 20 percent on these services.

The survey commissioned by HP with Coleman-Parkes also points out that businesses are ready and willing to implement the hybrid environment into their strategies; some 47 percent of all respondents stated that they expect to move some or all mission critical applications/systems to a public cloud environment within the next five years.

In her speech, Kroes pointed out several issues which could threaten or slow down the development of the Cloud. What would you say is the main challenge facing Cloud computing in Europe?
In our view, the main challenge to face cloud computing is the common lack of understanding about the hybrid cloud. As it states in the survey HP commissioned with Coleman-Parkes, it is clear that this is a major barrier in overcoming the adoption of cloud computing, with 57 percent of respondents agreeing with this statement. Fears about security in the cloud also remain rife with 53 percent of respondents agreeing data protection was a highly integral challenge.

However, 61 percent of all respondents agreed that cloud computing is integral to a business that wants to instantly respond to customer demands. This research links up with the other announcement Mrs Kroes made at the World Economic Forum, made at a time when Security and Data Protection are big concerns for Europe.

Do you think Europe could become “Cloud-active” without any help from Digital Agenda commission?
HP welcomes the lead the European Commission has displayed in the field of Cloud computing, and in particular, the effort commissioner Kroes has invested in building a transatlantic dialogue around cloud solutions. HP does believe that the digital agenda Directorate General has had an integral role in pursuing the necessary mindset shift for the cloud within public procurement in Europe.

In fact, public procurement for cloud services is the best tool governments have to promote cloud adoption. Public procurement officials should be looking for services that match business needs and are delivered with greater efficiency and at a lower cost than current practices.

In addition, cloud computing does not require hardware or software. Therefore, these public procurement officials should take into account the full lifecycle cost (e.g., examine the energy used and other ancillary benefits) rather than only the purchase price. Such scope of consideration is still nascent in most European countries as cloud strategies and implementation models are only beginning to emerge.

How do you see the role of HP in the future of Cloud computing in Europe?
HP sees the future of cloud computing being based on companies “receiving the right services, at the right cost, the right time, with the right service levels”. HP has the solutions to address Cloud in the key four areas:

  • Build – providing technology solutions for those companies building their own private clouds or becoming cloud service providers for others;
  • Manage and Govern – providing the management, automation, security and governance software to help mitigate the risks of a cloud deployment;
  • Consume – providing HP delivered cloud services to the external market;
  • Transform – Providing the services to help plan, design and implement the journey.

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