The objective of this study is to identify ‘Fundamental Services’ in the context of new “Universal or Global” SOA approaches to the provision of eGovernment services. The key questions which it addresses are: at which level of granularity can ‘Fundamental Services’ be defined? Which ones have the highest potential for reuse? And what are the possibilities for and the potential impacts of delivering public services in line with the concept of a ‘cloud of public services’?
In this context and against the background of significant recent policy and technological developments, the study developed a service taxonomy and methodology in order to identify the ‘building blocks’ of public services delivered online for citizens and businesses. The proposed taxonomy and methodology, which are based on a review of existing SOA-related literature, were then applied via case studies within the scope of the life cycle of a business in three Member States (Sweden, Italy and Belgium) in order to develop a definition of a ‘Fundamental Service.’ Finally, based on real-life approaches to the provision of online public services for reuse by different actors (public administrations and third parties), as well as suggested future scenarios, the study analysed the possibilities for the design of a ‘cloud of public services’ and of the impact of offering public services in this way. The main conclusions of the study are then presented and a number of recommendations for future activities are made.