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How many IT jobs are to be lost as a result of Cloud Computing madness

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How many IT jobs are to be lost as a result of Cloud Computing madness


Mr Barroso has said "Europe 2020 is about what we need to do today and tomorrow to get the economy back on track. We need to build a new economy based on knowledge, low-carbon and high employment levels".

A presentation by the head of the cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration at DIGIT's June 2010 seminar “Bridging the Gap” translated this statement to mean that Commission’s ICT strategy for 2011-2015 must be built on an ICT infrastructure based on EC Cloud – EU institutional cloud.

Cloud computing: a trend advocated by corporate IT industry and marketed as the all encompassing panacea to resolve all ICT needs of government. Moreover, it is also described as a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it involves over-the-Internet provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources.

But, the Cloud model has been criticized by privacy advocates for the greater ease in which the companies hosting the Cloud services control, and thus, can monitor at will, lawfully or unlawfully, the communication and data stored between the user and the host company.


Now, if the European Commission is planning to franchise at least its IT activities to corporations where in Europe the industry is still largely unregulated then it may be putting the interests of EU citizens at risk while also downgrading and reducing its own technical workforce and IT infrastructure.

In order to obtain compliance with regulations such as the Data Protection Directive in the EU, EU institutions' Cloud computing suppliers need to adopt community or hybrid deployment modes which are typically more expensive and may offer restricted benefits.

In the EU when contracting with Cloud Providers established outside the EU/EEA, Commission DGs and other EU institutions have to adhere to the EU regulations on export of personal data or other regulations concerning confidential data.

In addition to concerns about security, a report from Harvard Research Group states: "...The demand for cloud computing and high availability systems presents distinct challenges. Companies remain reluctant, for a variety of reasons, to trust the cloud for their mission-critical applications...You are at the provider’s mercy. Cloud computing services vary from provider to provider, and it is the proper inter-working of computers, storage, software, communications, and administrative procedures that make up the service levels that need to be negotiated. Without this understanding of the end-users application needs, it is unlikely that the provider can answer a buyer’s legitimate question in a credible way..."

There are also concerns about a cloud provider shutting down for financial or legal reasons, which has happened in a number of cases.

The European Union has yet to adopt a uniform franchise disclosure policy. Only five countries in Europe have adopted pre-sale disclosure obligations. They are France (1989), Spain (1996), Italy (2004), Belgium (2005) and Romania (1997). Yet, other Member States need to create a framework to help reduce the number of "cowboy" franchises and help the industry clean up its image. How could European Commission under such unregulated conditions even propose to use Cloud Computing (EC Cloud – EU institutional cloud) as an important building block in its IT strategy for 2011-2015!

What's more, it is also interesting to note that a 2010 report in CORDIS states: "Cloud systems are mostly in an experimental stage – to fully exploit their capabilities in particular from a commercial side, the according impact, dependencies, requirements etc. need to be evaluated carefully...CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES AND MODELS HAVE NOT YET REACHED THEIR FULL POTENTIAL AND MANY OF THE CAPABILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH CLOUDS ARE NOT YET DEVELOPED AND RESEARCHED TO A DEGREE THAT ALLOWS THEIR EXPLOITATION TO THE FULL DEGREE, RESPECTIVELY MEETING ALL REQUIREMENTS UNDER ALL POTENTIAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF USAGE..."

In addition, let us see what an important IT industry CEO and another very well known and respected IT industry expert have had to say about Cloud Computing.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation has stated that cloud computing has been defined as "everything that we already do" and that it will have no effect except to "change the wording on some of our ads".


Richard Stallman, who pioneered GNU project and Free Software Fundation has told the Guardian that cloud computing was simply a trap aimed at forcing more people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that would cost them more and more over time. "It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign…Somebody is saying this is inevitable – and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true."


To conclude in words from George Orwell: "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

NB: References for Bridging the Gap seminar are available to Commission staff on DIGIT's wiki

Reza Fardoom

Created by: admin last modification: Wednesday 26 of January, 2011 [13:36:58 UTC] by admin

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