25 May 2012

Competition, Neutrality and Diversity in the Cloud

Andrea Renda


The emergence of cloud computing is promising enormous benefits for small businesses, due to the dramatic reduction in IT costs caused by the service-oriented architecture. At the same time, the transition to a cloud ecosystem is more controversial for individual end users, as emerging business models can potentially affect both competition within and across layers, and the end-to-end nature of the Internet. CEPS Senior Fellow Andrea Renda (LUISS Guido Carli and European University Institute) has published an article entitled "Competition, Neutrality and  Diversity in the Cloud" in a special issue (No. 85) of the journal Communications & Strategies devoted to Cloud ecosystem and platforms competition. His paper argues that policy-makers should work on several fronts, including privacy, security and competition policy, before the transition to the cloud ecosystem can be seen as really conducive to a desirable outcome for end users. Work in the direction of the inter-cloud architecture and a European partnership for cloud computing should thus be oriented towards an open, competitive environment, compatible with different levels of quality of service, and such that end users can still access a robust, best-effort internet infrastructure, along with managed services with guaranteed QoS.

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