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Cloud Computing: “France Can Win It’s Technological Independence”


A few weeks after “France for data centers”, the Afdel (French Association of Software Publishers) seeks to raise public awareness on the issues of “cloud computing” (cloud computing in the cloud) and the need to invest in infrastructures. She asks for the organization of a public consultation.

At a time when the French government is preparing to make first decisions on the 4.5 billion euros devoted to the development of the digital society (part of which should be reserved for the deployment of digital cloud infrastructures), the appetites sharpen. The industrialists of accommodation and electrical equipment *, gathered in the club “France for data centers”, stepped into the niche a few weeks ago to insist, among other things, on “the attractiveness of the French territory to accommodate new digital factories “.

“We do not start from nothing”, insists Alain Le Calvé, delegate “buildings” at Gimélec (Group of industries of electrical equipment, control-command, and associated services), the stakeholder in this project. It recalls the involvement of members in “electrical panels with high levels of requirement, wiring or cooling systems” … All things very useful for hosting centers, as well as the “reliability” of hexagonal electric and telecom infrastructures.

Publishers’ turn

More recently, the Afdel (French association of software publishers, which represents nearly 200 publishers) has also gone from its verse on the issues of “cloud computing”, publishing a didactic document summarizing the conclusions of a group working on the subject. The association has, therefore, requested that a public consultation is organized to “define the guidelines of the announced procedure of calls for projects by the government”.

Why request a consultation of this type? “We are in a positive step,” says Patrick Bertrand, CEO of the publisher Cegid Lyon and president of the Afdel. However, “we have the impression that the authorities want to speed up the process of making available the funds that have been raised. This is a good thing, but on a number of topics, we think it would be useful to take two or three months of reflection and not to start in a hurry.

IT becomes a heavy industry

Because the stakes are numerous, according to him: “The cloud computing induces a real revolution in the uses. The workstation, the printer … everything will disappear in favor of new online services accessible by simple smart screens. In addition, the “cloud” is based on “new modes of marketing” and requires “new modes of development by publishers, who must optimize their software for low bandwidth consumption.”

“While the computing of tomorrow will be made of giant data centers, it would be absurd not to increase investments in infrastructure,” warns Patrick Bertrand. “As for railways or nuclear, abandoning the physical would be tantamount to giving up the technologies that make it possible to manage equipment.” Or worse, not being able to impose the “rules of interoperability” between the clouds that publishers will need.

Too late? Afdel remains confident. “France has several strengths to promote for cloud computing: its broadband connection above average, its skills in telecom or in the management of environments …”, says its president. “Games are not made in the cloud.” And, if all goes well, France can even hope to “regain its technological independence”.

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