European public administrations can avoid being locked-in by IT vendors when moving to cloud computing that is firmly based on principles of transparency, open access and open standards, says Open Forum Europe (OFE), an organisation advocating the use of open standards in ICT.
The group supports the European Commission's strategy for cloud computing, it says in a statement published on 26 January. OFE writes it shares the vision of European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes.
"VP Kroes' focus on the role of the public sector strikes the right tone", OFE writes in the statement. The group agrees with her that governments should play and active role and set a good example "As she points out, public procurement of IT represents a massive chunk of Europe's IT industry. OFE consistently has stated this is the single most important way that government can influence market behaviour."
The advocacy group also announces that it will soon publish an update of its procurement monitoring report. "(This) will again illustrate how a significant, and not diminishing, proportion of the public sector continue to ignore EC guidelines and EU legislation."
OFE concludes that many government agencies and departments across the continent remain the victims of lock-in. "A change in public procurement behaviour is undeniably required."
OFE thinks that the Commission's cloud computing strategy offer, could lead the public sector out of this problem.
In her speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, earlier the same day, Kroes invited public authorities and industry, users and suppliers of cloud computing to join the European Commission to come up with common requirements. This partnership "will look at standards, it will look at security, it will look at ensuring competition, not lock-in."