The purpose of the EU CloudCatalyst project is to help companies benefit from Cloud Computing solutions by providing an advisory service and training tools. The basic aim is to promote Cloud innovation as a means of boosting industrial productivity in Europe.
A recent survey by California-based Cloud security and software services provider Netskope reveals that enterprise Cloud-based apps are less used than consumer social network apps at companies in the United States. However the benefits and potential of Cloud Computing are much wider in scope than that. Not only large firms can make savings on administrative and equipment costs by drawing on Cloud solutions. Tech startups and incubators are especially enthusiastic since the rise in popularity of Dropbox and Amazon Web Services. Over in Europe, the European Commission is funding a project launched in October 2013 with the aim of helping to drive forward Cloud computing in the EU and helping companies to benefit from the innovations and potential cost reductions which Cloud services can bring. Entitled CloudCatalyst, the project is headed up by Andreia Moreira de Jesus of Portugal Telecom, and the EU is contributing €615,000 out of a total project budget of €688,600.
The ‘Go-to-the-Cloud’ strategy
The CloudCatalyst project partners concluded that company investment in the Cloud is being held up by a general lack of knowledge about how the technology works and the benefits it can bring. Moreover they are confident that once company management have a better understanding of Cloud solutions they will get over their concerns about data privacy. With this in mind, they decided to set up a service that provides information on an individual basis to those most closely involved in this area of work and provide tools to enable companies to answer questions such as Why develop the Cloud? What are the risks? What are the difficulties and how can they be overcome? The platform’s ‘Go-to-the-Cloud’ strategy is supported by a set of actions covering, among other aspects, management and legal issues. The partners hope that the initiative will help to create a vibrant community of Cloud adopters and supporters in Europe.
Supra-national effort required
In addition the CloudCatalyst partners are planning to run workshops at European trade fairs and other relevant events. In order to ensure sufficient clout and coverage in their approach to companies, CloudCatalyst brought on board as one of the project partners the EuroCloud organisation, an association with over 2,000 company members in 21 European countries, whose mission is to create awareness of Cloud Computing, play a role in standards-setting, build a contact network and foster connections with policymakers. The Cloud Catalyst champions believe that this supra-national effort will help to speed up transition to the Cloud, a move which the EU policymakers believe will help companies to move more quickly from ideas to solutions, with the potential for improvements in EU industrial competitiveness and job creation.