CISPE Publishes Guide to Buying Cloud Services in Public Sector

Feb 16, 2022 | News

Establishes best practice for cloud-first procurement


 Brussels, 16th February 2022. CISPE, the association of Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe today published a Handbook designed to promote best practices in how public sector organisations procure cloud services. Cloud-first strategies are an important aspect supporting the digital economy and the aims of the EU’s Digital Decade. They can lead to faster, more cost-effective design and delivery of digital services to citizens across Europe. The CISPE Handbook provides essential advice, guidance and best practice principles for any public sector organisation creating tenders or Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for cloud services. The new edition of the CISPE Handbook was formally presented to the European Commission at an online event held this morning.

This second edition Handbook updates the popular and influential 2019 version already used by many organisations in Europe and beyond. Among the updates are new sections on Codes of Conduct for Data Protection, fair software licensing principles, sustainability and enhanced cyber security. As governments and other public sector institutions across Europe prepare to distribute billions of Euros in recovery and regeneration funding, much of it focused on digital infrastructures, it is imperative those funds are wisely spent. The CISPE Handbook will be invaluable to many in selecting providers that deliver real value for money.

The CISPE Handbook, freely available from, provides advice on:

  • Setting up Cloud Services RFPs
  • Minimum technical and security requirements
  • Vendor comparison
  • Contracting
  • Pricing & Terms and Conditions
  • Best practice examples and templates for technical comparisons and evaluations of vendors.

As concerns around data protection, digital sovereignty, sustainability and fair competition continue to influence critical decisions on digital infrastructure, the CISPE Handbook represent a common guide for procurement processes in these important areas.

Commenting on the CISPE Handbook, Ruud Alaerds – Managing Director of the Dutch Cloud Community, said; “Our members recognise the importance and the challenges of helping public sector institutions get the best value from the cloud. Unfair and restrictive licenses for productivity and enterprise software that customers want to move to the cloud are inhibiting their fair choice of providers. This leads to increased costs, reduced agility and less innovation. The Handbook outlines ten fundamental requirements for fair software licensing in cloud procurement.”

Ayse Yavuz from EY CertifyPoint outlined the vital role of Codes of Conduct in establishing trust amongst cloud infrastructure service organizations and its users including public sector organisations. “The CISPE Code of Conduct for Data Protection requires an independent monitoring mechanism that compliant cloud services have been audited by independent monitoring bodies accredited by the French DPA, CNIL. As one of those monitoring bodies we understand how important it is for public sector customers to have confidence in the GDPR capabilities of their chosen cloud partners. The Handbook includes the guidelines from CISPE code of conduct.”

Peter Pohlschroeder, Managing Director of NDC-GARBE speaking on behalf of the German Data Centre Association, added; “Digital public services have the potential to deliver significant environmental advantages and create acceptance among citizens, but only if the infrastructure that supports them is sustainable. The CISPE Handbook outlines how public procurement can implement the goals of the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, signed by of 90% of providers in Europe.”

Concluding, Alban Schmutz, President of CISPE, said: “The public sector is not only a significant user of IT services, but a key influencer. In pursuing cloud-first procurement it can significantly accelerate the use of the cloud, more efficient, innovative and cost-effective digital services, and a smaller environmental footprint. CISPE has drafted this new edition of its Handbook to further assist these important customers in making decisions that will impact Europe’s economy, society and good governance for decades to come.”

For further information, please contact Simona Romeo at

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