PRISM And The European Cloud

Back in 2011 we published four scenarios predicting the uptake rate of public cloud computing (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) in Europe. The scenarios we plotted were based on the extremes of what we believe are the two most important aspects governing future cloud uptake: availability and trust. Our own Dutch Enterprise Public Cloud Spending forecast is based on the “patchy cloud” scenario.

In 2012 we hosted a session at the GigaOM Structure Europe event presenting and discussing our four scenarios with an audience of hosting, cloud, datacenter and SaaS providers. When asked which scenario would prevail in the next decade most participants opted for the ‘happy cloud’ scenario. In the “happy cloud” there will be sufficient infrastructure available for everyone and trust, security and compliance issues will all be resolved.

Public Cloud Scenarios

Enter PRISM and the PRISM fallout in June 2013 which provoked EU commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes to publish a press release on the consequences of living in an age of total information.

Two verbatim statements from the press release:

Cloud computing helps us benefit from the data revolution and is a gift to our economy. But it depends on two things, more than anything else:

  1. Efficiency through scale. And
  2. Trust that the data is stored securely.

Higlighting the importance of infrastructure availability and trust. And:

So I am saying two things:

  1. Concerns about cloud security can easily push European policy makers into putting security guarantees ahead of open markets; with consequences for American companies.
  2. Privacy is not only a fundamental right, it can also be a competitive advantage. Companies focused on privacy need to start coming forward into the light and help them do that. That would be a smart company indeed. And 2013 is the year. That includes European companies who should take advantage of interest to provide services with better privacy protection.

A warning to the USA that PRISM could hurt American cloud providers and advice to European cloud providers to create trusted clouds. While most of our 2012 roundtable participants commented that policies and regulations are bigger inhibitors to cloud adoption than security and trust, they might want to reconsider now. In any case, Anynines, a 100% European (German) PaaS startup agrees and so does their dog:

What do you think? Let us know!

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About Pim Bilderbeek