Government CIO hits out at EU cloud strategy

News Caroline Donnelly Oct 2, 2012

Liam Maxwell, the Government's deputy CIO, has taken issue with EU plans to certify cloud providers

The Government’s deputy CIO Liam Maxwell has hit out at EU plans to certify “trustworthy” cloud providers, claiming it will limit the range of IT suppliers the public sector can do business with.

The initiative was one of a number the European Commission put forward last week in its “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe” strategy document.

Speaking at the Strata: Making Data Work conference in London yesterday, Maxwell described the cloud provider plans as a “tremendously retrograde step,” in light of the work the UK Government has been doing to widen the range of IT suppliers it uses.

“It will enable the oligopoly that has driven IT for many years to police the cloud...and Governments will sleepwalk into buying into them. Not just here, but across Europe,” said Maxwell during the event’s opening keynote.

To prevent this, Maxwell called on the EU to ensure the certifications are based on “sensible, open standard and open source” approaches.

“This will enable the whole market to be free and allow people to make use of data, so people can work with the Government to provide better services,” added Maxwell.