EU plans to certify "trustworthy" cloud providers risk unfairly excluding equally competent SMB cloud service providers from public sector deals, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).
Andy Burton, chair of CIF and chief executive of Fasthosts, said that although certification is indeed a good thing, it must be managed in a way that ensures public sector deals can be accessible to all suitable suppliers.
"If Europe is to operate seamlessly as a community, and fully realise the advantages of cloud enablement, it is essential that solutions are accessible to the widest business community to participate in, including SMBs where a great deal of innovation occurs," he said in a statement.
"The closed-off system of tender currently proposed threatens to prevent quicker growth and development of agile government systems."
Burton noted that £9bn is spent on ICT each year by government so savings were important. This meant that the market should be as open and competitive as possible, rather than protecting the "current oligopoly" of suppliers.
Ian Osborne, chairman of the standards committee at CIF, said: "We need to be careful not to raise the bar on standards in such a way that only the largest companies can afford to comply. There must be a balance between services offered, standards required and the assurance regime to be complied with, if SMBs are to be successful in offering their services to the public sector."
The EU plans to develop cloud standards for interoperability, data portability and reversibility, contracts, security, privacy, user rights and government spending on cloud as well as certification.
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