Project «Cloud Computing»
What do we mean by Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a concept which describes the virtualisation of IT infrastructures, namely the provision, via networks, of computing capacity, memory units (Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS), programs (Software as a Service, SaaS) and programming environments (Platform as a Service, PaaS). The applications and data are therefore no longer on a local computer, but – metaphorically speaking – in a cloud comprising a certain number of remote interconnected servers. They are used in a dynamic way, according to the needs of the users. Access to cloud services is via the Internet, or, in the case of private clouds set up by companies, protected networks (intranet or extranet).
Opportunities and risks of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing offers enterprises an effective and economical alternative to their growing need for data storage, as well as the conditions for using their computing resources in a dynamic and mobile way. Cloud Computing also constitutes an opportunity for innovation and development for new products and services, with implications for the world of business and for the public sector (public administration, health, education, research, etc.).
The main challenges for Cloud Computing lie in the fields of data security, the legal regulations applicable in a virtualisation context, the transparency and reliability of offers and the acceptance of such services by users.
Why is TA-SWISS conducting a project on the subject?
Cloud Computing is still relatively little used in Switzerland, but IT specialists see major potential in it for growth and utilisation, especially for the small and medium-sized enterprises which make up the economic fabric of Switzerland, and for the cantons and communes.
Cloud Computing is still relatively little used in Switzerland, but does show considerable potential for growth and utilisation, especially for the SME and micro-enterprises that dominate the Swiss corporate landscape, but also for the cantons and communes.
But until now Cloud Computing has always been a concept that is little known among the general public and political decision makers. As yet there has been no interdisciplinary debate on the opportunities and risks of Cloud Computing that will raise awareness among the general public and the decision makers.
Aims of the project
The aim of the project is to better understand the ins and outs of Cloud Computing, as well as the challenges it poses for Switzerland. In order to define this problem more precisely, the following were raised during a seminar organised in May 2011:
- What are the development factors? Which are the domains concerned?
- Hype or reality?
- Security, data protection, law, environment: the challenges of computer virtualisation
- Utilise the potentials, control the risks: what has to be done? Who has to act?
TA-SWISS invited thirty or so specialists to debate the opportunities and limits of Cloud Computing at a workshop in Berne on 17 May 2011. Among those taking part were representatives of enterprises providing Cloud Computing services, computer scientists, lawyers, representatives of public enterprises or entities which use cloud computing services, members of the federal government and representatives of consumer organisations.
The seminar opened with a series of presentations defining Cloud Computing, identifying the pertinent legal issues and offering specific application examples. Then, in an open discussion, all of the participants were invited to state their position on the challenges of Cloud Computing.
On the basis of these discussions, a scientific journalist will write a synthesis, together with a fact sheet presenting Cloud Computing and the challenges it poses. These documents, intended for non-specialists, will be distributed to those who normally receive information about the activities of TA-SWISS.
Start of the project: January 2011 End of the project: autumn 2011
Results and downloads
Presentations made at the seminar held on 17 May 2011 (in German)
Dr. Fulvio Caccia, TA-SWISS
Synthesis of the seminar of 17 May 2011
Report in German
Fact sheet and summary of a discussion between experts
Computing in the clouds – flexibility for a world in movement
- Danielle Bütschi, TA-SWISS. E-Mail
Organisation of the seminar
- Dr. Sergio Bellucci, TA-SWISS
- Nadia Ben Zbir, TA-SWISS
- Dr. Fulvio Caccia, TA-SWISS
- Markus Fischer, MF Consulting
CH-3011 Bern T + 41 31 310 99 60
F + 41 31 310 99 61
The project in brief
Many people consider Cloud Computing to be the next watershed for information and communication technologies, with repercussions for individuals, companies and local authorities. But what is there hidden behind this concept? What are the issues involved? Does the Cloud represent a computing watershed, or is it a new marketing ploy? In May 2011 a number of experts took part in a seminar during which the characteristics and challenges of Cloud Computing were discussed.
Timetable: January - autumn 2011
Dr. Danielle Bütschi, TA-SWISS