Potential benefits of Cloud Computing for end users

Lower computer costs.

A high-power computer is not needed to run cloud-based applications. Since applications run in the cloud, a desktop computer does not need the processing power or hard disk space demanded by traditional desktop software, or even a DVD drive.

Improved performance.

With fewer programs using the computer’s memory at the same time, it will perform better. Desktop computers that use cloud-based services may boot and run faster because they have fewer programs and processes loaded into memory.

Reduced software costs.

Instead of purchasing software applications, cloud computing applications can often be obtained for free. An example is the Google Docs suite for consumers.

Instant software updates.

Updates to a cloud-based application generally occur automatically and are available on logging into the cloud. When accessing a web-based application, the latest version is usually instantly available, without need for an upgrade.

Improved document format compatibility.

All documents created by web-based applications can be read by any other user accessing that application. There are fewer format incompatibilities when all users are sharing documents and apps in the same cloud.

Unlimited storage capacity.

Cloud computing can offer virtually limitless storage. A computer's current hard drive space is small compared to the storage space available in the cloud. Note however that large scale storage is generally not available for free, even in a cloud environment.

Increased data reliability.

Unlike desktop computing, in which a hard disk crash can destroy personal data, a computer crashing in the cloud should not affect the storage of data, as typically cloud services provide multiple layers of security (see however Section 4.2 below for a discussion of data security in a cloud environment).

Universal document access.

Documents stay in the cloud, and can be accessed from wherever with an Internet-capable device and an Internet connection. Documents are instantly available independent of location, removing the need to carry them when travelling.

Latest version availability.

When editing a document from one location (e.g. at home), that edited version is identical to the document accessed from another location (e.g. at work).

Easier group collaboration.

Multiple users can collaborate easily on documents and projects. Because the documents are hosted in the cloud, not on individual computers, an Internet connection is all that is needed to collaborate.

Device independence.

When changing computers or moving to a portable device, existing applications are still available. There is no need for a special version of a program for a particular device, or to save a document in a device-specific format.

Source: Fielder A. et al., Cloud computing, Study prepared for the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, 2012, p.36.

Cloud Computing: An agent for ICT energy efficiency

Wednesday, 1 February, 2017 - 12:45

The IT energy crisis is upon us. Information and communication technologies (ICT) account for 8-10% of the European Union’s electricity consumption and up to 4% of its carbon emissions! So what role can have cloud computing on the quest for greater energy efficiency, you may ask. A number of European research projects funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme are proactively finding solutions to improve energy efficiency in cloud computing.

CloudScale new open source tools improve scalability of applications

Saturday, 9 January, 2016 - 18:00
CloudScale software engineering advances the scalability of applications to ensure return on investments in European research and innovation projects. 
This new CloudScale video shows in just 1:30 minutes the difference the new tools can make in tackling scalability issues. 
Are you worried about your application not being able to tackle increasing demand?

@CnectCloud projects publish Position Papers for Cloudscape Brazil 2015

Tuesday, 1 December, 2015 - 12:45

Brazil and Europe have a long-standing, international relationship, including joint investments in IT through coordinated calls. Cloudscape Brazil 2015, 1-2 December 2015, celebrates some of the success stories to date, sharing insights on co-operation results tackling social challenges leveraging an EU-Brazil federated cloud infrastructure. 

ARTIST, A tool-supported method to cloudify applications

Cloudscape Brazil 2016 Position Paper - ARTIST, A tool-supported method to cloudify applications
ARTIST is about modernising old applications to convert them into services for the new generation of business in companies. ARTIS facilitates the migration of these modernised applications to the cloud, previously analysing the feasibility of such migration, from a technical and business perspective, and mitigating the costs and risks in the decision to move onto the cloud.

How iMinds helped one Belgian startup become a global player

Belgian startup POSIOS launched in 2012 with an innovative point of sale (POS) solution and the ambition to become the world’s top POS app for the hospitality industry – specifically restaurants. 
In just two years, the company has grown from a local team of three to an international business of 23 employees and more than 700 customers worldwide. That rapid expansion caught the eye of Canada’s Lightspeed, the global leader in retail POS solutions. 

European Research and Innovation Results: Flexible Cloud with HARNESS

Friday, 25 September, 2015 - 11:45
Flexible cloud - Harnessing heterogeneous hardware resources: With an expanding list of applications using cloud computing, conventional commodity-based data centers may not meet desired performance requirements. Over the last three years, the researchers involved in Europe’s HARNESS project have been working to devise ways to integrate non-conventional resources into the cloud data center stack.

CloudWATCH: taking SMEs to the cloud with the European CloudScout

Thursday, 24 September, 2015 - 14:45

More and more small businesses are using the cloud to access markets more quickly, scale and grow without initial up-front costs needed for tradition IT infrastructures. Organisations that are not using the cloud need to start their cloud journey as soon as possible, particularly small and medium-sized businesses.

The European Bioinformatics Institute wins Best Datacentre Project of the Year

Monday, 14 September, 2015 - 16:00
Genomic research is one of the most exciting areas in science. Set to improve efficiency of treatments and cut costs, genomics will bring us a new age of personalised medicine that focuses on treating patients not just by their current illness, but their specific genetic make-up. However, we are only just beginning to understand the technological implications of this data-intensive research on datacentre infrastructures. And data rules. 

Cloud and Big Data: How they transform the banking industry - 14 July 2015


The panel of experts included Gino Thielemans, Head of IT Supervision, National Bank of Belgium; Noémie Papp, Legal Adviser, Consumer Affairs and Coordinator Digital issues, European Banking Federation; and Bruno Schroder, National Technology Officer, Microsoft. It was moderated by Florian Damas, Alcatel-Lucent, and Vice Chair, Cloud Council, DIGITALEUROPE.


Public Vs Private Cloud

Wednesday, 22 July, 2015 - 11:15

For the past few years everyone has marked-out a constant increase in public and private clouds. Whether to adopt a public cloud approach (off-premise IT capability or application, provided by others) or go for private cloud (on-premise enablement of cloud possibilities with existing IT) has always been an incensed topic for debate throughout the IT industry and the business.

Here’s why the Internet of Things has been compared to the Industrial revolution

Tuesday, 30 June, 2015 - 10:30


Today, the Internet of Things is rapidly building connections between devices, starting with wearables, cars and appliances. A recent report from Gartner forecasts that, “4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.”


Cloud, Big Data, Internet of Things: How they transform eHealth - 27 May 2015

What does it take to achieve the triple win envisioned by the Commission: a better quality of life for European citizens, innovation and growth for a competitive EU industry and more sustainable healthcare systems for society? This particular workshop afforded participants an opportunity to hear the Commission’s views and those of major players in this field.