- SMB Spotlight
Tech chiefs from major cloud computing vendors including Amazon, Atos and SAP have met with leading European politicians to guide the creation of the European Commission's (EC) cloud computing strategy.
The EC wants to exploit the massive buying power of European nations, and ensure organisations can access cloud computing tools at low prices - a necessary step to improve services and reduce costs.
The meeting in Brussels on Monday, the first Steering Board meeting of the European Cloud Partnership (ECP), discussed their overall objectives for 2013-14, including raising public awareness of the benefits of cloud systems.
This includes removing barriers to adoption among the public sector and dispelling myths holding back use. The group also agreed on its support for the EC's creation of cloud computing standards and certification schemes.
The meeting also backed the creation of cross-border and interoperable cloud pilot projects for 2014 such as eID, smart cities, e-health, e-education, research and digital content services.
Those in attendance included the likes of SAP co-chief executive Jim Hagemann-Snabe, Amazon.com chief technology officer Werner Vogels and Atos chief executive Thierry Breton, as well as chief executives from F-Secure, Accenture and Ericsson.
They were joined by politicians from Norway, Austria and Holland, as well as the chair of the ECP, Toomas Hendrik, the president of Estonia.
"I need this top-level input so that all of Europe can see the full benefits of cloud computing, and quickly," said EC vice president for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes.
"President Ilves and all board members are going to give no-nonsense, action-oriented advice to get the ECP moving."
Kroes has previously claimed widespread cloud computing adoption has the potential to offer nation states as much as €200bn in economic benefits.