Work on building a European Union Digital Single Market has started, with the steering board for the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) meeting for the first time yesterday.
Amongst its targets for the 2013 and 2014, the board will work on raising public awareness of cloud computing, as well as mapping out practical solutions that reduce barriers to public sector adoption of the technology.
Cloud readiness is seen as a political priority, according to the board, which supports the European Commission's work on cloud computing standards and certification schemes.
The ECP aims to leverage public sector buying power to shape the market for cloud computing services.
It will develop common procurement requirements for cloud computing, to be used by EU member states and authorities.
ECP's target for 2015 is to have a quarter of EU federal IT spend and migration going to cloud computing.
Several cloud pilot projects are set to kick off in 2014 across the EU, including an e-ID scheme, smart cities, e-Health, e-Education, and research and digital content services.
Reporting to the European Commission's vice-president, Neelie Kroes, the cloud computing board is chaired by the president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and features private and public members.
"I need this top-level input so that all of Europe can see the full benefits of cloud computing, and quickly," Kroes said.
"President Ilves and all board members are going to give no-nonsense, action-oriented advice to get the European Cloud Partnership moving."
Well-known private technology industry board members include former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Léo Apotheker, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Software AG head Karl-Heinz Streibich, and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg.
Kroes appointed all members of the board, which will meet two to three times a year and may consult with industry, academic and government body experts.
Some of the ECP's work includes dispelling public concerns over and distrust of cloud computing, by using new media channels such as YouTube.
The Clikkers and the Cloud. Source: EU