Building Broader Bridges

Building Broader Bridges

Earlier this month Satya Nadella, CEO, and Brad Smith, president and chief counsel of Microsoft launched a bold vision for the cloud at an event in Dublin. This was not a new technology announcement, or even innovative application of technology, but a call to governments, businesses, people and societies around the world to work together to ensure the cloud delivers on its promise to communities across the globe.

The Cloud for Global Good – a set of policy recommendations contained in a book and on a website – provides a framework for thinking and debate which the European Cloud Alliance welcomes. The central principles of a cloud that is Trusted; Responsible and Inclusive will doubtless fuel much discussion, and we are looking forward to participating in these debates.

Many of these principles are being most actively tested, defined and applied here in Europe. The individual’s right to privacy; the balance between public safety and personal rights; the theory and practice of free flows of data across national borders – these are issues already at the heart of technical, commercial and policy decision-making. Europe will in many ways be the microcosm and the test-bed of the ideas, practices and outcomes that will shape the cloud for everyone.

These themes are therefore fundamental to the goals and ambitions of the European Cloud Alliance. What we bring to these debates is a specifically European voice. As Brad Smith noted, governments are going to have to collaborate far more extensively than previously to meet the challenges and the opportunities of the cloud. Promoting and advocating smart thinking and best practice to help ensure European policy makers are part of this collaboration, is central of our mission. We further believe that extensive collaboration is also required throughout the cloud value chain; from the small European start up reliant on the cloud, to the national champion reimagining its manufacturing foundation with cloud technologies, European businesses must be part of this wider debate.

Listening, relaying, testing and strengthening the opinions of Europe’s diverse, vibrant and innovative cloud value chain is our goal. In doing this we humbly hope to play some role in the wider collaboration that sees, to use Brad Smith’s terms, the building of ‘broad bridges to the future’.