The European Union economy stands to miss out on the benefits of cloud technology, as legislative measures across the individual Member States act to prevent businesses from using cloud services on an EU-wide level. The use of off-premise cloud technologies offers both economic and productivity benefits to start-ups and larger enterprises, but according to Pearse O’Donohue, Head of Software and Services, Cloud Computing in the European Commission, many organisations are unable to appreciate its benefits because of limitations and restrictions contained within some Member States’ laws. O’Donohue was speaking at a Datacloud Europe Event in Monaco.

O’Donohue emphasised that cloud technologies offer easy solutions for new firms looking to develop without huge upfront technology costs, but that numerous legislative barriers mean that facilitation of such services is not always possible. For example, Member States’ laws may prevent organisations from expanding into other countries, limiting their ability to use cloud services.

O’Donohue believes the European market is falling behind other markets, many of which have already harnessed such technologies more widely. Cloud computing has the potential to contribute approximately €160 billion to the EU’s GDP by 2020, when around 60% of all businesses in the EU are expected to have at least one cloud-based IT solution. He used his talk as a call to action so that the EU does not miss out on billions of euros’ worth of revenue.

O’Donohue outlined the European Commission’s priority of breaking down barriers to create a Digital Single Market. This creation of a single market open access to the European market, enabling cloud providers to offer services to a greater audience, and the breaking down of barriers, should breed innovation and lower costs as competition increases. By dealing with issues of cloud computing on a European scale, rather than tackling them on an individual Member State level, the European Commission hopes to build trust and confidence, and increase growth.