The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has completed the public consultation process on its draft code of practice.
Following its announcement and commencement of the consultation period in April, the draft code, which aims to eventually standardise and certify enterprises offering cloud computing services, was reviewed by over 200 organisations.
Andy Burton, CIF chairman and CEO of Fasthosts, said: “What was critical in the development of the code was the process of public consultation. That has taken over two months and encompassed detailed questioning on a range of issues pertaining to governance, transparency, capability and accountability.
“We firmly believe that the market needs a credible and certifiable code of practice that provides transparency of cloud services such that consumers can have clarity and confidence in their choice of provider.”
Only 11 per cent of those who read the draft code felt that a code of practice would not be of benefit to both the industry and the end-user alike. When asked what specific activity would make cloud computing a long term success for UK businesses, 20.5 per cent stated that it had to demonstrate robust security and privacy for data stored online.
A further 17.9 per cent stated that demonstrable financial benefits for users were needed, while 15.5 per cent stated they felt that clear accountability of service providers for breeches to service level agreements was critical.
Mark Cresswell, president of Scalable Software and a CIF member, said: “It was absolutely essential that all major stakeholders in the cloud ecosystem see the clear benefits in the proposed code. It also had to include end-users as well as providers and the large number of smaller organisations offering customisable packages of services between the two.
“At the end of the day this was about building trust in the code and given the extraordinary lengths the CIF went to promote and disseminate it, we firmly believe that we have reached a satisfactory outcome based on broad consent.”
John Lovelock, chief executive of the Federation Against Software Theft, said: “The consensus from the code of practice consultation exercise is that a major hurdle for increased adoption of the cloud by businesses is that organisations need clarity around what the service providers do and don't offer.
“They also need to know what financial and operational substance there is behind these providers and what assurances are in place in regard to security, confidentiality and service levels. We see the launch of such a code of conduct driving up standards so that the industry and the customers both benefit.”