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UK Deputy CIO Attacks EU Plan To Certify Cloud Providers

UK Deputy CIO Attacks EU Plan To Certify Cloud Providers
Date: 4th October 2012

by Russell Dickinson

Acknowledging the economic importance of cloud computing, the European Commission has drawn up a strategy and last week presented its initiatives in a document entitled "Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe". However, the UK government's deputy chief information officer has taken issue with the plan to bestow a 'trustworthy" certification on cloud services providers. Liam Maxwell used his opening speech at a London-hosted conference earlier this week to lash out at the proposal, IT Pro reported.

Addressing the audience at the Strata: Making Data Work event, Maxwell called the plan a "tremendously retrograde step", insisting that it would leave the public sector with a limited choice of cloud suppliers. It is a rather unwelcome scenario for the UK government, which has been looking to expand its IT supplier base, he said.

As Maxwell put it, such a move would only allow the long-standing IT oligopoly to control the cloud to the detriment of governments across Europe. One way of avoiding this is to make sure that the EU adopts "sensible, open standard and open source" approaches to the certification process. In this way, the entire market can be free and people can avail themselves of data, working together with the government to improve services.

Maxwell repeatedly drew attention to the importance of openness, lavishing praise on the economic benefits the government has reaped by deciding to embrace open data and open source. He noted that it was not a case of supporting open source because of some perceived superiority but because such an approach would prove instrumental in opening up markets.


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