In order to remain efficient, the federal, state and local governments are facing challenging tasks in the area of digitalisation. To solve them, the public sector is increasingly relying on the use of cloud services. However, there are special requirements for the protection of the processed data as well as for the sustainable operation and design of the digital infrastructures. The abilities to control data flows and to use and design information technology together form the basis of the state's digital sovereignty. Open source software is particularly well suited to meet these requirements and create digital sovereignty.
Clarification of the minimum requirements for the use of cloud offerings by the public sector
The OSB Alliance's autumn 2022 published Position paper "Minimum requirements for the use of cloud offerings by the public sector". generated a lot of attention through concrete practical recommendations for action to achieve digital sovereignty in the public sector. The exchange with politics and administration that emerged after the first publication shows that there is a continuous need for further deepening and political support. This concerns in particular the secure use of cloud offerings in the course of the urgent digitisation of the administration. We have therefore made further clarifications in the position paper, which have resulted in an updated version.
The specified requirements for achieving digital sovereignty will serve as a practical basis for the implementation of cloud services in the public sector in the future, in order to be able to guarantee security, data protection and resilience of the applications. In addition, the paper makes recommendations for action for administration and politics, since planned action at federal, state and municipal level is a particular prerequisite for the creation and safeguarding of digital sovereignty.
Founding of the Cloud Working Group: Jointly setting standards for cloud use
In order to ensure the continuity of the fruitful discussions of renowned German cloud providers and to efficiently develop existing know-how, the working group established in the course of the preparation of the position paper has merged into an official "Cloud" Working Group in the OSB Alliance. The seven constituent members Cloud&Heat Technologies, IONOS, Plusserver, secunet Security Networks, Telekom, Univention and Felix Kronlage-Dammers as a private supporting member plan to jointly define open standards for an open source cloud offering for public administration and politics. Spokespersons for the group are Dr Kai Martius (secunet Security Networks) and Timo Levi (Telekom).
Dr Kai Martius, CTO Secunet:
"In public administration as well as in business and industry, digital processes are increasingly shifting to the cloud. In this transformation process, there is a danger that already existing dependencies on individual proprietary providers will be dramatically exacerbated. The Cloud Working Group is therefore committed to sharpening the understanding of the need for open source-based offerings. Only standardised, open interfaces and technical implementations that can be tested in every respect can enable the long-term digitally sovereign use of cloud services".
In its joint work, the Cloud Working Group aims to achieve the following goals in particular:
- Anchoring open source-based cloud stacks as the preferred basis for digitally sovereign cloud offerings of the public administration.
- Accompanying the further development of the German Administration Cloud Strategy (DVS) with the aim of ensuring that the principle of "open source first" is also adopted there. In the process, an open source cloud offering is to be established as a fixed component of a multi-cloud scenario.
- Initiation of a concrete (financed) implementation of a proof-of-concept or a reference architecture for an open source cloud for public administration. To this end, the working group draws on existing technologies and initiatives and, in the best case, defines an interoperable offering from all providers.
- Extension of the open source-based cloud platform towards an open API standard for the use of cloud platforms, and thus ensuring portability of new applications
Constituent members of the Cloud Working Group:
- Cloud&Heat Technologies
- secunet Security Networks
- Felix Kronlage-Dammers (private supporting member OSB Alliance)
OSB Alliance member companies are welcome to participate in the Cloud Working Group. For more information, please contact the office.