Europe’s Massive Cloud Strategy Could Help U.S. Companies

On Thursday, the European Commission released a statement detailing a new strategy for “unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe.” By 2020, the plan is expected to create 2.5 million jobs, and boost European GDP by 1 percent annually.

“Cloud computing is a game-changer for our economy,” said European Commission VP Neelie Kroes. “Without EU action, we will stay stuck in national fortresses and miss out on billions in economic gains.”

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The EU will facilitate the cloud by developing a single set of rules to cut through “the jungle of technical standards” and legal systems between the 27 member states. The agenda calls for interoperability and data portability standards to be identified by 2013, as well as an update to data protection policies. One sticking point against cloud adoption are security fears associated with decentralizing data.

Viviane Reding of the European Commission said in the statement, “The cloud strategy will enhance trust in innovative computing solutions and boost a competitive digital single market where Europeans feel safe.”

This is where the Commission’s plan could spell good things for U.S. companies. Among those that could provide exactly the type of solutions and services the EU needs: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). U.S. companies are already offering competitive cloud services at home, and will be well-situated to extend those services across the Atlantic.

A report from Gartner estimates that by 2015, companies adopting big data storage and processing cloud technology will outperform competitors by 20 percent, using financial metrics. It also predicts that the cloud-based business performance management market will grow by 25 percent year over year.

Amazon’s EC2, IBM’s SmartCloud, Intel’s Cloud Builders, Microsoft’s Azure, and the Oracle Cloud will all be major players in the U.S. and Europe as cloud computing and technology becomes increasingly significant.

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