Cloud Board Plans ‘Code Of Conduct’

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The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) wants to run a Governance Board to develop a code of conduct for services

In answer to calls for more regulation and standardisation of cloud services, the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has created a Governance Board and is looking for industry volunteers.

The recently formed body was established to promote trust and to work within the sector to develop a Code of Practice for Cloud services.

Back in early July, industry experts had called for more regulation and standardisation of cloud services as the uptake of the technology increases. The calls reflected concerns that there are too many rivals offering confusing services, and no way for potential customers to know how well these offerings are supported. Some felt that users need an accreditation scheme.

Call For Members

The CIF’s Code of Practice looks to do just that, by certifying enterprises offering Cloud computing services.

“In order for CIF and the Code of Practice process to be credible and trusted it needs to have an appropriate governance and enforcement model in place to oversee the development of the Code, undertake random audits of participants’ self-certification claims, investigate complaints and where appropriate, withdraw a self-certification in the event that participants’ claims are proven to be untrue,” said Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum and chief executive of Fasthosts.

“We are therefore looking for 12 remarkable people to sit on the Governance Board of the Cloud Industry Forum,” he said.

“We are looking for volunteers from a broad spectrum that includes members from industry vendors, from end user organisations, independent advisors such as academics, IT standards champions and influencers in the Cloud market, as well as IT law practitioners,” he added.

People who volunteer for the board need to be prepared to give up 4 hours every two months to join the Governance Board meetings as well as preparation time in reading and reviewing materials, opinions and complaints. Of course, a thorough understanding of the cloud industry is of course a benefit, as well as experience in operating in a structured review and non-executive board capacity.

The CIF’s Governance Board will meet bi-monthly to review progress and actions arising, and to ensure the strategic direction of CIF and the Code of Practice is maintained.

Code Of Practice

“The consensus from our recent 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,” said Mark Cresswell, representing CIF member Scalable.

“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? Put simply – organisations seeking to use these services need a straightforward form of certification or ‘Code of Practice’ for potential suppliers that will accurately define the services offered and standards of operation and security.”

“CIF is required to operate good governance in all its public facing activities such as in Self-Certification, validation and the development and maintenance of the Code of Practice.  This is why it is essential we have in place a Governance Board representing the broadest possible membership from across the Cloud ecosystem,” he added.

People interested in becoming a member of the Cloud Industry Forum or the Governance Board are advice to make contact using this email address.

The creation of this Board should help ease some of the user’s confusion and concerns about the cloud. For example, a poll of listeners to a webinar hosted by eWEEK Europe UK in June revealed that 56 did not believe the cloud was ready to be trusted yet. But the majority agreed that issues around security and reliability would be solved relatively soon, and many are looking to the cloud to simplify IT services.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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