Digital Agenda: how cloud computing can boost Europe's competitiveness

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European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes is visiting the CeBIT2011 information technology (IT) exhibition in Hannover, Germany on 2 and 3 March, where the main theme is cloud computing. Cloud computing is the term used when users such as companies and public administrations, using networks such as the internet, access data and software stored on a service provider's computers in another location (potentially on the other side of the world). It is one of the key enabling information technologies that can help European businesses –especially SMEs – to drastically reduce IT costs, help governments supply services at a lower cost to citizens and make computing much more energy efficient. The promotion of cloud computing in Europe is therefore an important objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).