On the 18th and 19th of November,  CISPE attended the GAIAX Summit and our Chairman, Alban Schmutz, took part in two panels on value proposition and policy rules.  Here, the main takeaways.

“Last week, I had the honour of representing CISPE in the first GAIA-X Summit. CISPE, the voice of Europe’s cloud infrastructure providers, is a founding member of the GAIA-X Association and an important contributor to its policy rulebook.

The summit was another step towards consolidating GAIA-X as a keystone in Europe’s digital transformation. It featured fascinating discussions on the GAIA-X value proposition, the Association’s policy rules and the role of its technical committee. All of these herald a bright future for data infrastructure in Europe. I was particularly pleased by the announcement that CISPE members Aruba, Amazon Web Services, Irideos, Netalia, Gigas and Ilger have joined GAIA-X founding members CISPE, Outscale, OVHcloud and Scaleway in the association.

GAIA-X is clearly becoming the go-to place for companies developing innovative data space in major European verticals, be they healthcare, finance, mobility, manufacturing or energy, and for all companies operating in Europe’s cloud infrastructure sector. Perhaps more importantly, GAIA-X is a beacon for European values, and one that will determine the structure of the sector. These shared values are Transparency, Data Protection, Security, Portability and Ending Lock-in behaviours.

The rationale for promoting these values is to help companies and institutional players in the cloud to navigate their way through the challenges we are all facing. Now more than ever, Europe needs a level playing field for the cloud infrastructure sector. European cloud customers need to be free from ‘lock-in’ practices, inherited from old on-premises software licensing practices, so they can instead access real data and benefit from software porting when they move into the cloud or between different cloud offerings.

The level playing field we envision will benefit European users of cloud services by delivering new innovations and by addressing sovereignty concerns. Changing cloud providers must be easy and transparent for users, and would strengthen a competitive environment across Europe.

The immediate and significant prize? A European economy with the stronger, more innovative and more competitive cloud infrastructure that it needs to help drive its recovery.

The European Commission will soon table the forthcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) to address the challenges posed by anti-competitive behaviours in the digital sector; we hope and believe they will assist and promote GAIA-X values of openness and freedom of choice for cloud users in Europe. Ex ante rules to protect cloud customers from gatekeeping behaviours inherited from the old software licensing world are a “must have”. The EU needs a robust framework, with clear measures against anti-competitive behaviour.

CISPE is convinced that the ambitious endeavours being undertaken by GAIA-X reflect what both providers and consumers expect from Europe’s cloud infrastructure: an open, safe, transparent and vibrant environment. One that enables everyone to compete at arm’s length, and with a legal framework that ensures European industries and organisations can access and benefit from the most innovative, secure and affordable services available. A worthy vision indeed”