2016 Is the Time for Trust Services to Shine in EuropeThis IDC Insight focuses on electronic trust services (eTS) — the EU's term for electronic seals, certificates, and signatures — which make up a small and relatively low-profile market in Europe. The EU considers eTS foundational to its concept of a single digital market. But two key factors have kept it in the shadow of related yet higher-profile markets such as cybersecurity and data protection:The EU law on the subject has come in the form of directives (i.e., guidelines for individual member state governments to implement according to their individual needs). This has encouraged a fragmented European marketplace. This refers to the prevailing trends within countries and the provider landscape.The nature of the eTS market varies strongly between countries, best demonstrated by the differing legal and regulatory approaches that have evolved. As a result, the provider landscape has become fragmented. It is characterized by small, national, or even local (i.e., subnational) providers that serve the specific needs of local markets. However, IDC expects this picture to begin shifting when the EU launches its eIDAS regulation, aimed at providing a single definition of eTS across all 28 member states, mandating they work between member states and giving them a consistent legal standing that is equal to ink-based equivalents.But IDC thinks eIDAS will not send eTS market growth into the stratosphere, or even up to the levels seen by other security-related services in Western Europe. Rather, it will help push the eTS market out of the shadows, ready to mature (in the first instance) into a consistent market that will be ripe for a further step-change as the use of newer technologies such as mobile esignatures becomes more commonplace.
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