The cloud computing industry has been gaining steam, but one area in which progress has been slow to develop is standardization. There is no singular set of laws, rules or regulations that businesses follow and Joe Masters Emison wrote on InformationWeek that there is a growing demand for this to help “bring some sanity” to the market. Mathew Lodge, vice president of cloud services at VMware, told Emison that the Internet had its set of standards, but the cloud space is so fragmented that even early success come in the form of multiple groups trying to push their own rules.
A recent InformationWeek Standardization Survey shows that cloud vendors want to show they can meet company’s security requirements, which is the biggest roadblock to businesses bringing in the cloud. Nearly 90 percent said standards were an important factor for market-leading platforms, such as Amazon’s, while 85 percent said the same about individual software-as-a-service offerings.
On the other side of the coin, Emison noted that customers are increasingly concerned by the risks of vendor lock-in. The majority would like to see simpler, standardized practices for migrating data between cloud services so that businesses can retain flexibility as they grow.
“CIOs are right to be wary,” Emison wrote on InformationWeek. “When a cloud vendor raises its rates or lets its service quality decline – or worse, shuts its doors – IT may be left scrambling. These aren’t just theoretical concerns. Amazon Web Services, the dominant provider of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), had three major outages in 2012, and Gmail, the most widely used cloud email provider, had two major outages last year.”
Government looking to be involved
FierceTelecom said that in the United States, the federal government is trying to better understand and document procedures for interoperability in cloud computing. Officials also want to see a better framework and governance regarding the cloud, answering questions like what happens if a company wants to switch apps from one provider to another and what should be done to ensure cloud computing security of all clients.
The conventional model of building industry consensus from the top-down cannot hold anymore, Emison said. The pace of innovation has sped up thanks to the amount of users and voices within the cloud, so any set of standards needs to be kept loose enough to allow for all of the positive benefits in this area of cloud computing to keep on. This makes it hard for the government to get a hold on what standards should be put in place and which should be left out.
FierceTelecom said the government hopes to play a positive role in forming cloud computing standards and helping businesses and agencies alike figure out what it means for them.
Cloud Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro