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European Commission seeks advice on cloud computing

The European Commission is actively seeking advice and views from citizens and businesses on how the Europe community can fully benefit from cloud computing. The computer trend is already used widely within businesses across the globe and it is thought that it could bring in €35 billion in revenue to Europe by 2014 and also revolutionise the way businesses compute from day to day. The consultation will take place online and response will impact the Commission's European cloud computing strategy, which is set to be fully announced in 2012.

Some of the issues that the commission are seeking input on include data protection and liability questions, other legal and technical barriers that can slow down cloud computing's development, the standardisation and interoperability solutions, the uptake of cloud services, specifically by small and medium businesses as well as ways to promote further research and innovation in the field.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president for the digital agenda, said: "I am excited about the potential benefits of cloud computing to cut costs, improve services and open up new business opportunities. We need a well-defined cloud computing strategy to ensure that we make the best use of this potential. The input we are requesting from all interested parties is important to get it right."

Cloud computing is one of the hottest new trends developing in the computer world, it means companies, organisations and households can use networks, including the internet, in order to access information and software potentially stored elsewhere on other computer hardware and systems.

It can help to drastically reduce costs, supply services at a lower cost and save on the use of energy as less hardware will be needed to use software and access data.

The trend has already taken off massively in the States while it is starting to grow larger in Europe. According to Gartner, the research firm, annual sales of the service in Europe will rise 4.3 per cent to $29.5 billion in 2015 from $24.7 billion this year.

This is one of the reasons that the commission is so keen to enforce cloud computing, the huge potential it has to develop into a major new service industry, offering great opportunities for European telecoms and technology companies. Other businesses can also enjoy lower costs and simplified operations if the process was to be employed. In these ways the process is a real promising one which could create jobs in the telecoms industry and save on money in other industries.

Cloud data centres are huge collections of servers and supporting equipment run by specifically run businesses which expertise in the processing of large amounts of data. The centres are designed to be extremely efficient in both storage and computing power avoiding any downtime or mistakes that are common with smaller, less focused computer systems.

It seems as though cloud computing will eventually become a big player in Europe. The figures are too big for it to be ignored as smaller business begin to take employ the system, it looks set to continue to grow. It's a positive step that the commission have taken to involve businesses in the strategy process and it looks set to create a strong, manageable process. A representative of one of the world's biggest cloud providers Amazon was in no doubt that it was and will continue to take hold in Europe.

“This is a tectonic shift in computing that is going to take many years to unfold,” said Adam Selipsky, one of the vice presidents at Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of the huge web retailer. "Despite the challenges, on the ground, the cloud is happening in Europe."