Europe needs to move to create standards and rules around business agreements and what happens to data used in cloud computing services, said Dr Andreas Goerdeler, deputy director general in charge of Information Society & Media at the German Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com at the European Union’s Digital Agenda Assembly at Dublin Castle, Goerdeler pointed out that if stringent but straightforward rules regarding data portability and security are applied across the EU, then it would improve the ability for cloud companies and SMEs to trade across the continent.
Not only that, but it would also make it easier for cloud service companies to win business deals with the public sector of respective European States.
Referring to developments in Germany, Goerdeler said: “IT is very important for our economy and industry and especially SMEs, which are the backbone of our economy. ICT, especially cloud computing, is one of the main topics we address to help the industry adapt quickly to new technologies.
“For example, in Germany we have a technology programme called Trusted Cloud, where industry and science are in a partnership to bring about new technologies in areas such as encryption to make the handling of data in data centres and cloud computing be more secure.
“We have also tried to identify best practices so industry can be oriented to these examples to show them how cloud computing can be handled.”
In navigating to a single European economy via cloud, Goerdeler said templates for model contracts need to be created to make choosing and switching between cloud providers safer and more secure.
“Cloud services can be offered within the limits of the EU and we have to talk more maybe about model contracts so it is easier for a user to choose which cloud service they would prefer.”
This, he said, should be led by the European Commission to come up with contract models to help out with orientation for EU businesses and citizens.
“Such contract models should embrace standards so no company or user is locked into the contract and their data can be moved to other providers.”