Hugo Kerschot, Managing Director, IS-Practice, Belgium structured the keynote opening session on cloud computing.

Karel de Vriendt, Advisor to the Director-General, DG INFORMATICS, European Comission emphasized that the EU policy on cloud computing is still in progress and provided a first definition of cloud computing: ‘a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.’ He outlined challenges like security & dependability and the possibility to reduce costs.

Gaetano Santucci, Manager Competence Center Unit, CONSIP S.p.A., Italy described the state and perspective of cloud computing in Italy. Local, regional and national clouds should be established in accordance to the existing infrastructure. This G-Cloud, PA 2.0. & Open data could fulfill the vision of an open government in Italy.

Masahiro Yoshizaki, Director-General for Policy Evaluation, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing and its enormous (upcoming) growth. Moreover, he presented representative initiatives in Japan.

AO SUN (Leo), President of Brussels Office and Europe Affairs Dept, Huwei Technologies talked about leadership beyond the cloud. He stated that we do not know exactly the upcoming challenge. According to him, it is possible to use experience from the past to succeed: openness (mindset and technology) and standards (e.g. platforms) of communication industries. He considers SIM-cards as important devices in this process.

John Vassallo, Vice-President EU Affairs, Microsoft EMEA regarded cloud computing as a solution to many issues like economic responsibility, lower, improvement of healthcare an the growth new businesses. Additionally, he highlighted the role of SMEs in the cloud.

Erik van Zuuren, Director Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services, Belgium talked about the trust challenge and eIdentity aspects. Many people consider cloud computing solemnly as an outsourcing project. Consequently, he provided a check-list consider all issues like data control & ownership, availability & reliability. He emphasized the need of a sustainable and trustful system.

Geert Mareels, eGov Manager, Flemish Government, Belgium introduced ‘Citadel’, a movement to make the Malmö vision real by identifying key objects. A new mission is to empower citizens to use open data to create smart mobile application that can be shared across Europe’s cities and to give people certain rights automatically.

Paul Timmers, Director Directorate H: ITC addressing Societal Challenges, DG INFSO, European Commission also considers uncertainty as a challenge. In this context, ICT as innovation could be regarded as an investment instead of costs and should be combined with new processes to get more benefits.