The top seven issues with Cloud Computing

Why not? Everyone else has tried to list what they are, right after they tried to define what Cloud Computing is. My turn.

7. Sovereignty. When you are in dispute with the service provider over payments and they won't give your data back, do you know which country's court you are going to deal with them in?

6. Auditing compliance. Will your auditors sign off on it? Not just financial auditors but risk, security, standards compliance (ISO9000 etc).

5. Ownership of code and data. When the receivers padlock the provider's doors, how do you get your data and code back? Is it in escrow somewhere?

4. Real cost (thanks BladeWatch). Cloud providers can look awful expensive compared to in-house if you have lots of hidden costs. Effectively they are doing your ABC for you and some managers don't like to know.

3. Resistance. Especially if you are moving end-users over to a new system: IT invariably underestimates the backlash from users. Don't try prying staff off Office and pushing them onto Google Apps unless you have a well resourced and carefully planned cultural change program. But even if it is just underlying infrastructure, watch some managers and governors conclude that a service provider is not as good at security or availability as their own in-house staff (hah!).

2. A few technical geeky details (apparently)

...but the #1 issue with Cloud Computing (IMHO)?: casualness. I've several times read that Cloud is no different to other outsourcing arrangements. Not so. When companies outsource the system to EDS or IBM, teams of lawyers spend some serious money-burning time to thrash out who is going to do what to who if it doesn't work. Due diligences are done by both sides. Staff carry IP across to the outsourcer. And so on. It is a big operation. On the other hand Cloud outsourcing can consist of ticking the box for Terms and Conditions, and clicking OK. Even when a relationship exists, it is often at a level of relaxedness unthinkable for traditional outsourcing. We shall see how that pans out over the next few years.


I'll keep them all in mind,

I'll keep them all in mind, cloud computing is relatively new to me so I imagine that some of these issues will become personal experiences in the near future. Frankly I don't know which one of these issues should require more of my attention. Any further tips?

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