The Importance of a Flexible Cloud Computing Solution
There is an ongoing debate whether a company should decide between private and public clouds. On the one hand, the advocates of public cloud computing such as Salesforce.coms Peter Coffee claim that private cloud solutions share a lot of similarities with the Jurassic Era and that in the end they will all become extinct. On the other hand, there are several surveys that show that some IT managers have some concerns about committing to public cloud computing solutions only. On this article, we will demonstrate with thorough analysis the importance of selecting a flexible cloud computing solution that allows you to switch between both solutions.
The Recommendations from Major Consortiums
In the world of cloud computing, there are currently 3 major cloud-user organizations: the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC), the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Each of these consortiums has released publications that not only provide a complete list of features of cloud computing for the reference of organizations, but also that outline several deployment models. Among these deployment models, there are on- and off-premises, public and hybrid ones. While these major consortiums have an ongoing debate about the definition of private and public cloud solutions, they all agree on the same point: it makes business sense to select a solution that creates a bridge between private and public clouds so the business gains a competitive edge.
Selecting a Flexible and Secure Cloud Computing Solution
When selecting a cloud computing solution such as a contract management software , it is critical that the service provider offers you plenty of deployment options such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS, Hosted) and on-premise Client/Server. It is key that your selected service provider does not lock you into a single solution and offers you the choice of upgrading your services as required or switching between on-premise and web deployment options.
Besides selecting a cloud solution that is flexible and adapts to the size of your company, it is important that your selected service provider has a SAS70 certification. The CSCC, ODCA and NIST also agree that the higher the level of SAS70 of your provider, the better. SAS70 stands for Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, which is a widely recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This standard acquired higher importance as it met the requirements of Section 404 set forth by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. A SAS Type I compliant company is one that meets required controls of controls at a specific point in time, while a Type II not only meets the requirements at a specific point in time but also over a minimum six month period.
Despite the fact that cloud technologies are relatively new territory, there is no doubt that they can offer great efficiencies and cost savings. IT managers should ask questions to service providers and follow the recommendations from major consortiums. The recommendations include the selection of a service provider that can provide a bridge between private and public clouds, and that meets SAS Type certification.