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This is how the EU is using cloud to manage its data without losing control of it

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic addresses the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool - RC2FIM97SECR

A decentralized cloud system could unlock the value of EU data. Image: REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool - RC2FIM97SECR

Gilles Thiebaut
Senior Vice President, WW Hybrid Cloud Sales, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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This article is part of: Global Technology Governance Summit
  • Connected devices and sensors in infrastructure, vehicles, and manufacturing plants are all generating data.
  • A decentralized cloud system could unlock the value of this data.
  • It would be secure and federated to uphold digital sovereignty while promoting innovation, data sharing and data monetization.

Following years of being perceived as lagging behind, Europe is determined to make the 2020s its digital decade. The current tipping point of digital history indeed offers the EU a unique opportunity to reclaim digital sovereignty and become a leader in the next wave of digital transformation.

Connected devices and sensors in infrastructure, in vehicles, in manufacturing plants are all generating data which have enormous value. This explosion of industrial data has led to a new wave of digital transformation with the potential to drive economic and social progress.

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Recently, the European Commission launched the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act to drive innovation and fair competition online.

While these regulations are getting a lot of the attention, it gives me great hope to see that the leadership of the European Commission and of national governments are taking additional bold steps to seize the industrial data opportunity.

Single European market for data - a powerful vision

The vision of the European leadership is to create a Single European Data Market where data will be able to flow freely within as well as across industries and countries. So the rules around data would follow similar principles to the free movement of citizens, goods and services across the EU. This is a powerful vision and an important building block of the European Digital Strategy.

In this context, the EU has launched a Data Strategy so that Europe does not miss the new digital wave and gains ownership of the value of its industrial data. In addition, Europe is blazing a trail on decentralized cloud: 25 Member States have signed a declaration to establish a European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud to enable cooperation on resilient and competitive cloud infrastructure and services across Europe. This could represent a €10 billion investment by the EU over the next seven years.

Image: The European Data Strategy

Strengthening European cloud

Meanwhile governments, science and industry are cooperating to strengthen European cloud. The GAIA-X initiative aims to create Europe’s next generation of data infrastructure: a secure, federated and decentralized cloud system meeting the highest standards of digital sovereignty while promoting innovation, data sharing and data monetization. GAIA-X will develop common requirements for a European data infrastructure with common rules for secure sharing of data. HPE is proud to be a day 1 member of the GAIA-X association and an active contributor to several GAIA-X working groups.

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The goals of the GAIA-X project dovetail with HPE’s strategy to enable a consistent and seamless experience across all clouds and edges, so customers can unlock value from all their data, regardless where they reside. We also have a proven track record in this regard. Arising from our work on EU-funded projects, HPE built the Cloud28+ digital services platform. Cloud28+ is an open and global ecosystem of over 1,200 trusted partners – whether service providers, independent software vendors, integrators or public entities – making 90,000 services available to organizations and businesses of all sizes.

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Industrial data is Europe’s treasure. The European Union believes that reshaping cloud computing is the necessary response to these developments and that its success depends on decentralized cloud architectures that allow organizations not only to control their data and how it is shared but also control its monetization. This is a vision we share and HPE is ready to help the EU unlock its value using cloud technologies of the future.

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May 21, 2024

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