“Self-regulatory capacity fails.” The self-regulatory capacity of the European cloud industry is failing. Various professional associations of CIOs in Europe say that, including the Dutch CIO Platform. As a result, customers experience a disproportionate disadvantage.
The professional association Cigref of the French CIOs wrote an angry letter to the European Council of Ministers in which it stated that it had no confidence whatsoever in the self-regulating capacity of the European cloud industry. The reason is the advice to the Finnish President of the Council of European Ministers on codes of conduct that the cloud industry should adhere to. That advice was given by the cloud industry itself and does not take sufficient account of the interests of customers of the same cloud industry. At the request of the European Council of Ministers, the players in the European cloud industry have joined forces in a working group called SWIPO, which stands for SWItching cloud and POrting data. As the name implies, that working group has explored the possibilities of changing cloud suppliers more easily and being able to move data between different cloud suppliers. Two codes of conduct should be developed for this, for IaaS and for SaaS. The two codes of conduct had to be handed in this week to the Finnish President of the Council of Ministers, and that has happened. But the French CIOs are blazing. The code of conduct on IaaS is still possible, they think, but that of SaaS is grossly inadequate. Cigref believes that the self-regulating capacity of the cloud industry is hopelessly failing, partly because the American players acting in Europe have been allowed to participate in SWIPO. “That failure is the result of systematic inequalities in skills, resources and goals between the world’s largest cloud vendors on the one hand, defending their business and their ability to bind their customers, and those same customers on the other be able to conduct their lobby in the same way, “writes the professional association. The codes of conduct developed by the cloud industry do not pay enough attention to the needs of customers, in particular data portability. Vendor lock-in is not prevented enough, the CIOs think. None of the proposals made by the French CIOs have ended up in the final code of conduct. “Contrary to what is claimed by SWIPO leaders and members of the European Commission, the SWIPO working group has not been able to reach a consensus on the SaaS code of conduct at all. That is why we reject it,” Cigref writes. They believe that a steering group should be established to monitor the (adjusted) codes of conduct and that two-thirds should consist of customers and one-third from the cloud industry. The Dutch CIO Platform has already indicated on LinkedIn that they support their French colleagues.