It has been declared that the European Cloud Computing Strategy, that is set to be announced this coming Friday, will look to establish some solid guidelines for service level agreements in order to build public trust in cloud services.
The European Cloud Computing Strategy will look to make the standards in the European Union much more transparent. The standards would be voluntary but would apply to all cloud providers. The strategy document has stated that “individual vendors have an incentive to fight for dominance by locking in their customers, inhibiting standardized, industry-wide approaches.”
It has further been suggested that the Commission has been concerned about the idea of clouds developing in a way that “lacks interoperability, data portability and reversibility” as cloud suppliers have previously made efforts to establish working standards for cloud and managed hosting services.
The strategy document also outlines “an appropriate set of standards that can be certified in order to allow public and private procurers to be confident that they have met their compliance obligations.” It goes on to say: “These standards and certificates in turn can be referenced in terms and conditions so that providers and users feel confident that the contract is fair.”
Furthermore, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), in the United States, has published a set of definitions for cloud computing terms that has been widely accepted. Meanwhile, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute has been working on meeting standardization needs and conformity with interoperability standards.
It has also been announced that the Commission is very keen for public administrations to take the lead in using cloud services. The Commission further added: “Public authorities have a role to play in forging a trusted cloud environment in Europe. They have an opportunity to use their procurement weight to promote the adoption of a European cloud based on open cloud technologies and secure cloud platforms.”
This can only be a positive step forward for cloud computing, particularly during a time when many more corporations around the world are now adopting cloud hosting thanks to the current boom cloud computing is experiencing. This has partly been achieved by the level of savings that is possible through the use of cloud services with some 80% of organisations having reduced their overall costs by between 10% and 20%.
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