No longer just seen as an overused buzzword-du-jour, we believe that Cloud Computing represents a major paradigm shift in the way that we consume ICT services. The significant potential for increased flexibility and savings brought about by the elasticity and scalability of Cloud Computing open new horizons and opportunities for the development of ICT services. Cloud based services will increasingly be a key deliverable within successful achievement of the Digital Single Market.
Key is a common framework for all to operate within, on an equal footing, removing barriers to entry or cross-border growth, and encouraging entrepreneurial development. Ensuring a level-playing field in the marketplace is essential to reaping the full benefits of competition and innovation. Equally an open culture in adoption of Cloud can only be built on an open infrastructure that allows full interoperability and portability of data. Lock-ins to past single supplier solutions have not only proved costly to public procurements, but have demonstrably limited the ability to innovate in the future. New business solutions, based for example on Cloud, provide a high risk of re-introducing lock-in, both via commercial contractual practice or through technical proprietary interfaces. Vigilance in the use and communication of best practice in procurement in the use of Open Standards is but one practical step that can be supported.
In 2013, we brought together a number of cloud providers and developed the Open Cloud Declaration outlining a set of 10 principles which underpin the concept of an open cloud.
Since the announcement of the European Cloud Computing Strategy in 2012, OFE has also been an active participant in the Cloud Select Industry Groups (C-SIG) set up by the Commission, through the work of a dedicated Task Force.