European cloud project Gaia-X is stuck in the concept stage
Too many of the participants in the European cloud project Gaia-X are pursuing their own interests and diluting the concept, Volker Pfirsching told CIO.com’s sister publication Computerwoche in a recent interview. Pfirsching is a partner and member of the Central European management board at management consultancy Arthur D. Little, where he also heads the company’s global Digital Competence Center.
In this interview, he explains that while key members are pulling out, and that funding isn’t flowing as planned, this may not be the end of GAIA-X yet, but just a cleansing effect.
Computerwoche: The European cloud project Gaia-X — the representatives of which prefer to call it a secure European data infrastructure — has been quiet. Is it possible that it will join one of the many European IT initiatives that ultimately come to nothing?
Volker Pfirsching: At the very least, Gaia-X is one of those projects that started with a good idea but then failed to reach critical mass or really take off.
Like the idea of a European search engine? Or the European Payments Initiative? Or De-Mail in Germany?
Pfirsching: You can certainly draw these comparisons. Gaia-X actually got off to a good start, and that was appreciated by everyone involved. The aim was to use cloud infrastructure in a way that was as legally compliant and data protection compliant as possible. The problem is well known: If a European company has reached a certain size today and pursues a cloud strategy, it can hardly avoid the US hyperscalers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. So, it’s currently operating in an uncertain legal space in terms of using data in infrastructures with servers in the us or other countries outside the EU.