The European Commission is to pump EUR10 million into the formation of a European Cloud Partnership with the aim of drawing up a common set of standards between suppliers and buyers.
The initiative was broadcast in a speech to business leaders at Davos by Neelie Kroes, the Commission VP charged with drawing up a digital agenda for the EU.
The Commission believes that emerging cloud-based services can help flagging economies by boosting productivity and putting industrial-scale computing power within the reach of all public and private sector entities at lower costs.
The European Cloud Partnership will bring together public authorities and industry to draw up a common set of requirements for cloud procurement, says Kroes, with the aim of tackling outstanding problems for wary customers. Difficulties cited include standards, certification, data protection, interoperability, lock-in, legal certainty and others.
The ultimate objective is to deliver a set of transparent and binding service level agreements that can be used by the public sector for mass-IT procurement, with spill-over benefits for private sector enterprise needs.
"The Commission will launch the Partnership with an initial investment of 10 million euros," Kroes told the Davos audience. "I expect good progress in setting it up in 2012 and first results in 2013."