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With GAIA-X, policymakers and businesses have embarked on an ambitious project to build a European data infrastructure. As a digital data ecosystem, GAIA-X is intended to reduce technological dependencies on international hyperscalers and at the same time strengthen the value chains in the EU’s digital single market. Following the example of Airbus, the digital project is being supported in partnership between EU countries and representatives from business and science. By pooling their expertise in this way, the initiators of GAIA-X hope to significantly boost the competitiveness and innovative strength of European digital providers and services.
Focus on practical feasibility
In the future, GAIA-X is expected to promote practical solutions in the eight areas of Industry 4.0: smart living, finance, geoinformation, healthcare, the public sector, mobility, agriculture, and energy. This is evident from the GAIA-X use cases already outlined. A specific case study, for example, describes the use of the data platform for sustainable finance based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It would also be possible to use GAIA-X as a framework for the secure exchange of healthcare data to improve patient care. In the transportation sector, the project could, among other things, enable optimized maintenance solutions based on predictive maintenance. Intelligent algorithms calculate when and where maintenance work needs to be done on the transport infrastructure when required. For these and many other areas of application, an open data platform based on European standards offers tremendous advantages.
In the following ranking, you can find out which specific properties make GAIA-X so interesting for business, industry, science, administration as well as consumers:
GAIA-X is expected to score with these strengths:
1. Actively shape progress & innovation in the cloud
Cloud computing has become an indispensable part of modern society. The technology enables companies to provide data and services in real time to millions of users. Modern collaborative work on documents, video conferencing, online banking, and even streaming music and movies would be inconceivable without the cloud. As the Bitkom study “Cloud Monitor 2020” shows, three out of four German companies are already using cloud services today. According to a recent survey by Sopra Steria, the main arguments in favor of the technology are its high scalability, mobile access to operational resources, and the ability to innovate through technologies such as AI and big data analytics.
2. Break through one-sided market dominance
The cloud market is currently largely dominated by a few global hyperscalers. Especially in exceptional situations such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, digital sovereignty and autonomy are crucial factors in overcoming the crisis. In the past year, numerous companies and other organizations were forced to rely on cloud solutions for the benefit of business continuity that were not compatible with the applicable compliance requirements for IT security and data protection. Requirements-compliant alternatives from local vendors were indeed very much available, but were often ignored due to existing vendor lock-in effects and less widespread name recognition. This strategy may be a common approach to avoiding operational failures in exceptional situations. However, companies that persistently violate the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regulatory requirements must expect consequences. As the German-language business newspaper Handelsblatt recently reported, German supervisory authorities are currently stepping up their investigations into data protection violations due to the use of US cloud services.