While the U.S. government has been steadily pushing ahead with adoption of cloud computing services for its agencies, recent expectations have been that Europe will remain approximately 2 years behind the latest cloud technology. Perhaps in response, the European Union is now urging its members to use cloud services to reduce costs. Given the unsteadiness of the European financial situation and the need for many of its member countries to significantly reduce expenditures, the expectation is that the cloud will eliminate much of the expense involved in paper-based services while increasing productivity and oversight of critical services.
Procurement Leaders reports that the EU anticipates as much as a 20% reduction in costs following transition to cloud services, which is likely not overestimated given the success several European countries have already experienced during a recent trend toward e-procurement. The article further quoted the EU’s strategy paper as stating: “Pooling public requirements could bring higher efficiency and common sectoral requirements and would reduce costs and enable interoperability.”
Though Europe is being slow to move further into the cloud, caution is proving to be the main source of delay, as concerns over investing into new technology in such a fragile economy are being combined with uncertainty over standards, privacy and management of data that is moved to the cloud. To help combat these worries, the EU has pledged to develop regulations for cloud providers, in an effort to ensure security and standardization.
Recently, the United States government began its own expansion into the cloud and is expecting to save billions of taxpayer dollars per year.