The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has recommended the development of a unified EU strategy for government clouds, in its annual report on government cloud computing in the political bloc.
After examining what the authors called a "wide and heterogenous landscape" in several countries, the report recommended the implementation of a strategy covering high-level guidelines and also technical, legal and organisational matters.
Such a strategy would foster the adoption of government clouds, and mitigate concerns such as loss of control, physical location issues and encourage the development of solutions that are compliant with EU as well as country-specific regulations.
A lack of strategy and missing information on technical, legal and procedural aspects are "critical obstacles for the start-up of governmental cloud services," the report states.
Developing service level agreement (SLA) and certifications frameworks are also recommended, along with security measures for deployment models and provisions for privacy enhancement.
ENISA also suggested academic research for cloud computing was supported by member states.
An increasing number of public and private organisations are switching to cloud computing, the report authors said, citing public data that shows four-fifths of these will depend on remote information technology solutions and delivery in a couple of years.
Government clouds in 23 European countries was studied by the report authors, who said public bodies are key players in the sector. Through cost efficiencies, scalability, elasticity along with resilience and security are said to be the main reasons behind public uptake of cloud services.
Adoption of government cloud services and the overall strategy behind these vary greatly in the EU.
While early adopter countries such as UK, Spain and France have cloud strategies in place and have implemented solutions based on these, others such as Malta, Romania, Cyprus and Poland do not.