Your Lifeblood In The Cloud Vendors Hands
Information is the lifeblood of organizations, private as well as governmental. What are the wave breakers in terms of trusting cloud vendors with your lifeblood?
I have categorized three main areas:
1. Perceptive Data: Independent of operational excellence, technology innovation or marketing wizardry, the main question is still on top: What information can under any circumstances live in a public cloud?
2. Prenuptial agreement agreed upon: Open formats that are thoroughly specified and offer true portability are defined in the first section of the agreement. Agreeing on data ownership and rights in the establishment of a relation makes matters much easier when a separation occurs.
3. Biggest toolbox wins: Cloud success in larger enterprises comes from well-equipped customer tools. Metadata, Workflows, Process Automation, Transaction Management, Message Buses, Granular Access Ccontrols, Auditing Trails, Performance Management, Dynamic provisioning and a whole set of other functions need to be supported in the cloud.
These high-level objectives sound like an easy task, but their are some supporting questions that you need to ask to your provider:
· What controls are in place to guarantee the integrity of my data?
o Controls for verification of data input for completeness, accuracy and reasonable entries (anomaly control)?
o Processing controls on output?
· Do your cloud provide sufficient controls for specific compliance controls?
· What are the business continuity processes like?
o Do you have routines/processes in place for alternative sources?
o How long does it take to be back in production?
o How are you prioritizing customers?
· The uptime presented; does it include planned maintenance?
· What are the consequences in case of data loss caused by you?
· What are the provisions for data delivery and retention after a terminated contract?
· What are the true costs for data storage and archival?
o Data provisioning and deprovisioning costs?
o Storage over time?
o Hidden costs?
· Do you claim any direct or indirect co-ownership of my data (metadata)?
Take these suggestions as a starting point. I am sure that you can develop every single question further. My belief is that cloud vendors that provide good answers to your questions regarding your organizational lifeblood will earn trust. These will be the future winners in the cloud space.
By Predrag Mitrovic
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