Code of Practice & The Consumer
The Cloud Industry Forum was established to help end users identify critical information that can aid their selection of Cloud Service Providers. The content of this website will be constantly updated to reflect both details of Self Certified Service Providers and additional Guidance on how to interpret and assess information provided.
The Customer Experience
The purpose of the Code of Practice for Cloud Service Providers ("Code") is to bring greater transparency and trust to doing business in the cloud, and it is the customer experience which is ultimately the most important for achieving this.
The customer experience operates on several levels:
Knowing that an organisation meets the requirements of the Code gives the customer the assurance that it can obtain essential information necessary to make competent business decisions. The Code of Practice Certification Mark by itself conveys this assurance.
The Certified Mark identifies an organisation that has Self Certified to the Cloud Service Provider Code of Practice and the public declarations are accessible on the suppliers website and the CIF website Register of Certified Organisation.
The Certified+ Mark is a higher level mark that identifies an organisation that has been independently assessed by an Accredited Assessor as being compliant with the Code of Practice. The public declarations will be visible on both the Suppliers own website and the CIF website register of Certified organisations.
Identification of Suppliers
The Code scheme helps customers identify suppliers at three different levels:
- The fact that an organisation is listed on the CIF website as certified will lead customers (via hyperlinks) to those organisations which have demonstrated this level of responsibility.
- Organisations which have registered to begin the process of Self-Certification can optionally also have this shown on the CIF website, and customers may select from them as well.
- There are plans to create a freely available on-line searchable database of services offered by certified organisations.
Access to Information
A customer is always able to obtain the publicly-available information (covered by the Code) from the certified organisation's web site.
A customer is also able to obtain a copy of the publicly-available information submitted with the Application from CIF's website.
CIF plans in the future to provide additional guidance to end user organisations, freely downloadable from its website, to facilitate their doing business in the cloud (This guidance will be provided on a best-efforts basis, and no liaibility is accepted for how the guidance is used). This guidance includes:
- How to use the information which is made available by certified organisations. (The fact that information is disclosed does not confirm that an organisation is the best choice for a customer.)
- Additional information to request, such as references from other customers.
- What should be included in contractual terms and conditions, including details of any disclosed information which is essential to contractual performance.