8 - 9 March 2016

Brussels, Belgium


Cloudscape VII – Why small businesses should be using cloud services to innovate in the marketplace

Cloudscape VII SMEs
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the European economy and are expected to benefit the most from cloud services. While there have been many success stories, adoption is currently lower than expected. Cloudscape VII looks at both sides of the coin, spotlighting new start-ups disrupting the market and offering think tank strategic guidance to increase competitive by small firms and providers.

How small firms are disrupting the market
Cloud computing is not the future, it's the present: it is already vital to a large and growing number of businesses. EIT ICT Lab's Future Cloud action line develops and enhances a European trusted cloud platform and ecosystem, and will continue to facilitate Big Data-intensive cloud business development including Big Data analytics, architecture and technology maturation and deployment”, says Tua Huomo, Future Cloud Action Line Leader at EIT ICT Labs (www.eitictlabs.eu).
In Spring 2015 EIT ICT Labs will launch the Idea Challenge. The purpose of the Future Cloud track is to engage SMEs to participate in building European Data driven Trusted Cloud business. Future Cloud business community is to support the goals of SMEs in "access to market". “Cloudscape VII offers a forum for introducing some of their solutions to potential customers”, says Huomo.

SMEs – Overcoming Challenges, Grasping Opportunities
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs), the lifeblood of the European economy, are expected to benefit most from using cloud services. Despite understanding the general benefits that make SMBs more competitive in the global marketplace, adoption is still lower than expected.
Several European initiatives aim to change this and will all be explaining how they plan to overcome key barriers at Cloudscape VII. They include Cloud Catalyst (www.cloudcatalyst.eu), CloudingSMEs (www.cloudingsmes.eu), CloudWATCH (www.cloudwatchhub.eu) and SLA-Ready (www.sla-ready.eu).
One of the main barriers is lack of knowledge and the difficulty in matching cloud services with the specific needs and the key business of small firms. The CloudingSME consortium, represented by Luc Hendrickx (UEAPME) and Andreas Weiss (EuroCloud Germany), will be sharing some key findings during the session “Cloud Adoption – Barriers, Opportunities and Actions for SMEs”.
There is little doubt that the digital economy will be cloud enabled and connected via smart phones and other devices, but the transformation of our personal life is much faster than within traditional industries. SMEs and startups now have to consider global markets by default, which is radical shift from the way they operated in the past”, says Dalibor Baskovc, Cloud Catalyst and EuroCloud Slovenia.

Perspectives from small providers
There have been plenty of entrants into the cloud market. Many of the large IT companies have cloud offerings but what about the whole new generation of smaller providers? Kate Craig-Wood was co-lead of the technical strand of the Cabinet Office's G-Cloud project and last year was appointed to the European Cloud Partnership (ECP, http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/european-cloud-partnership) steering board with the mandate of representing all British SMEs’ interests.

She says: "I wish to enhance the European cloud industry and encourage the sort of adoption of SME cloud services by the public sector that we’ve witnessed with G-Cloud in the UK across the whole of Europe. I passionately believe that we should not be afraid of competing with each other, rather that if we can foster international excellence in low-cost, high-security, high-efficiency cloud services, whether IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, in Europe it will be to all our benefits."

About Cloudscape
The Cloudscape workshop series started out back in 2009 as an event mainly targeting the scientific community and early standardisation efforts. Since then it has grown from strength to strength with exceptional industry speakers, consolidated research community and highly innovative small firms and start-ups. Nowhere else do participants get to meet & mingle with people from such a broad variety of organisations. Cloudscape VII is brimming with a unique and fun atmosphere.

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