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Europe's New Cloud Computing Strategy

Enterprise Cloud News

Europe's Commissioner for the Digital Agenda has released a communication called "Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe" mapping how the cloud fits into Europe's future.

The paper outlines a series of actions designed to drive European businesses and the public sector into the cloud, according to the The goal is to create 2.5 million new European jobs and boost GDP in the single market to 160 billion euros by 2020.

The potential benefits of cloud computing are growing ever more clear, the study says. It promises to accelerate digital commerce and make robust technology solutions available to more users with greater cost efficiencies than ever before. It will increase flexibility and productivity, especially for small and midsize enterprises, and help with the delivery of public services in Europe and around the world.

The Commission's strategy is a positive first step toward boosting cloud services in the EU. To date, Europe's burgeoning cloud computing market has been largely national in practice, with a patchwork of potentially incompatible cloud networks that have stymied widespread adoption of cloud computing services. The new strategy moves Europe toward a more harmonized, regional approach to the cloud - and that's an important achievement.

Cloud Computing Impacts IT Hiring Demand
In August, more than 10,000 jobs were advertised online for technology positions that need experience and knowledge of cloud computing in the United States, according to an article on

Demand for cloud computing skills grew as more companies moved data to virtual servers. There is a need for talent to develop, manage and secure the flow of information online. The number of job ads increased rapidly in 2012, reaching new highs in demand each month and is now up 80 percent since August 2011.

The most commonly advertised job titles for IT talent with cloud computing skills are:

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Senior Software Engineer
  3. Java Developer
  4. Systems Engineer
  5. Senior Systems Engineer

IT professionals with experience in cloud computing are in-demand across the United States. The metropolitan areas with the highest volume of listings in August were San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington (DC), and New York.

As more employers shift data and software to cloud-based applications, hiring demand is likely to continue. Currently, the limited talent supply of potential candidates with cloud computing experience will create challenges for employers.

According to the Hiring Scale, employers across the United States spend an average of 6.5 weeks advertising jobs and sourcing candidates for IT positions that require cloud computing. However, each location and region of the U.S. will experience a varying degree of difficulty when recruiting.

Companies in San Francisco and Baltimore are currently experiencing some of the most challenging overall recruiting conditions. Competition has emerged as more employers are looking to fill jobs in these areas than the local talent supply can support.

Nonprofits Rely on Cloud Computing at Rackspace
Instead of running their own servers at their offices, nonprofit organizations are increasingly hosting their e-mail, software, hardware and other applications in the cloud, according to an article on

"Our goal is to help charitable organizations here in town utilize the cloud and lower their costs," said Graham Weston, co-founder and chairman of Rackspace Hosting in San Antonio. "There's so much money wasted on IT every year."

The cloud is the ability to buy software and storage on the Web, Weston said, according to

"Computing is about power. It's like electricity. Computing is turning into a utility," he said.

"There's really an opportunity for your IT folks to add a lot more value. IT goes from something slow to the ability to do things in seconds."

Weston delivered the opening speech at the third annual Nonprofit Technology Summit at Rackspace's headquarters. Rackspace and the San Antonio Area Foundation's Center for Nonprofit Support sponsored the event, which attracted several hundred nonprofit officials.

The sessions included advice on leveraging the cloud, building culture, project management, tips for building an effective Website, marketing and social media tips and resources for nonprofit agencies.

"This is about modernizing IT infrastructure to keep pace with change today," Weston said.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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