CLIPS - Business Models and Sustainability Challenges

Zulf Choudhary, Vijay Natarajan and Li Yao, Sparta Digital, James Hughes, PNO Consultants
Focus Area: 

The current business model for public service delivery is based on public administrations playing the roles of both funders and service providers. CLIPS – an EC CIP-funded project – is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables an innovative shift towards a model of public service delivery in which public administrations move from the traditional role of funders to also being a facilitator; public services are defined by citizens to address their specific needs and are delivered through a combination of public and private organisations in an ecosystem. This helps the adoption of modern service/product delivery models, shifting the paradigm from the old, costly and localised silo approach.

Who benefits and how: 

The key benefit of the CLIPS framework is the creation of a digital EU marketplace for service co-creation and collaboration with all stakeholders in a meaningful ecosystem. These stakeholders are: (1) public sector with a price-based model for cost-effective budgeting and faster collaboration with data protection at the local level; (2) businesses benefitting from clarity and price transparency to offer services that follow given frameworks; (3) citizens gaining from more responsive services at the local level that are suited for their needs. This creates a model with better engagement, increased efficiency, and makes pricing and costs transparent for efficient business models.

Assets are the key project outcomes holding specific exploitation potential and unique selling points. While all CLIPS results are well integrated in the CLIPS Platform, a modular asset-definition approach is in line with the project philosophy oriented towards the cloud and service-oriented paradigms.

An extensive analysis of relevant market trends and needs has been performed and will be leveraged by the CLIPS partners and users. In particular, we see there is a strong shift to the cloud and service-oriented paradigms, yet on the other hand PAs in Europe are still struggling to innovate and to adopt ICT tools to help them deliver new services to citizens. This is exactly the process CLIPS can effectively support though its methodologies and tools. Adoption of Open Source in ‘enterprise’ applications is also a relevant trend aligned to the CLIPS approach, as the project will release all of its assets as Open Source software.

There is a strong consent about the will to make the platform as sustainable as possible so as to further exploit and carry on development of the CLIPS tools and in order to create further value around the successful project results. To this end, a set of shared strategies have already been agreed upon by partners and the initial plans are outlined in the various internal reports. CLIPS will commercialise its output by creating a new entity made up of selected consortium partners to offer an EU transnational and national cloud-based marketplace supported by the CLIPS framework. The CLIPS framework will enable easier and faster adoption of a robust business model using a PaaS and Software as a Service (SaaS). The CLIPS cloud platform includes the necessary modules to provide, as a service, all the cloud functionalities required for the project:

  • Storage: dedicated storage functionalities; data, such as images, documents, videos, binary files, etc., are stored in logical pools while physical storage resources are spanned across multiple devices and/or servers.
  • Virtualisation: responsible for the management of virtual resources provided to users such as CPU, memory, storage and networking.
  • Backup and Recovery: responsible for keeping copies of stored data in order to prevent data corruption or loss.
  • Hosting: this provides functionalities for hosting web contents such as web pages or entire websites.
  • Networking: this enables users to manage their network and its configuration.
  • Computing: for the managing computing resources which are available in the platform.
  • Administration: to provide a graphical interface to users and enabling them to administer available resources.

The draft pricing structure is:

  1. On demand applications;
  2. Pay per number of users on a subscription basis;
  3. Payment plan can be scaled up or down based on customer needs

The work undertaken on dissemination will act as foundation for further national and transnational developments. The partners will investigate the possibilities of support using crowd sourced funding or sponsorship (e.g. by national governments) until the system is self-sustaining.

This strategy allows CLIPS to overcome a key barrier (cost) and provide innovative public services using the core elements of interoperability and replication.

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