The European Commission has launched a consultation on cloud computing. This will feed into the European cloud computing strategy due to be presented in 2012. One of the aims of the strategy is to clarify the legal conditions needed to enable take-up of cloud computing. The consultation gives colleges and universities the opportunity to contribute their views on how to fully benefit from cloud computing, as well as discussing where they or their institution stands with regard to cloud computing and the benefits and challenges it presents.
Meantime, the US Department of Commerce, through its National Institute of Standards and Technology, has published a Draft Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations. The document aims to describe cloud systems and discusses their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks. it also gives recommendations on how and when cloud computing is an appropriate tool. Furthermore, it indicates the limits of current knowledge and areas for future analysis. The document recognises data protection and security issues (albeit from a US perspective, so it should be read with this is mind) and will be of interest to university and college management considering increased use of cloud computing services.
EU press release and links to the consultation and background papers.
NIST Draft Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations.