The Business Case
Cloud solutions represent the most significant development in the delivery of IT in a generation, offering end users the three-fold benefits of reduced costs, enhanced operational availability and on-demand scalability. Furthermore, cloud technology levels the playing field for all IT consumers enabling them to participate regardless of size due to the unique pay-as-you-consume financial model, thus enabling SMBs to access the same technology and gain the technical agility that has previously been the reserve of large Enterprises. This shift is expected, in turn, to increase market competition and innovation.
This expected market enablement and breadth of potential consumers is why leading Analysts are forecasting significant growth rates over the coming years.
Gartner cites market growth at 34% per annum through 2013 culminating in a market worth $150 billion worldwide.
IDC in turn predicts a compound annual growth rate of 26% over the five years from 2009 to 2013, rating it six times faster growing than the traditional IT market.
Conversely, End users (and notably SMBs) identify three barriers to adoption of Cloud solutions of which two are technical (relating to data security in the cloud and portability of data) and are the subject of significant technical developments and attempts to achieve Standards. The third barrier relates to the issue of TRUST. In a market of online delivery models with many new vendors, how does a potential customer get comfort that the company with which they wish to work will provide a secure, stable, and effective solution within a framework that enables them to keep control of their data throughout the contract and after it expires? This issue is at the heart of the case for a Cloud Service Provider Code of Practice.
The CIF Self-Certification process enables Cloud Service Providers to demonstrate transparency, accountability and capability to end users in a manner that enables the potential customer to make an informed decision about what the vendor offers. The use of the CIF Certification Mark on a vendor's website serves two clear purposes: it makes a public declaration of professional and commercial intent on the part of the cloud service provider and it provides a visual mark of recognition that engenders confidence in the end user that the organization is open and professional in its commercial activities.
Quite simply, the Code of practice enables professional Cloud Service Providers to demonstrate with clarity their ethics, practices and processes through an independently recognized and credible body in order to build trust by association with prospective customers.
Download the CIF Self Certification document.