Finally, will you be relying on Service Level Agreements (SLA) to get you out of trouble? In essence a SLA is the contract, when it comes to performance, between you and the third party. They tend to ensure uptime numbers and outage periods and there is some remediation relating to money if they dont manage to keep to the service levels. However, as the anonymous quote goes Service Level Agreements: The fastest way to make lawyers rich, why, because it doesnt guarantee to get your business back up and running just to pay you compensation, by which time you could be out of business. This is just as true for applications you are relying on out in the cloud what if your email was down for a week (this actually happened to one service provider recently), or if your web was out of action? Would your customers understand or would they go elsewhere? A week is a long time when your competitors are only a click away.
Storage, applications, security all are making their way into the cloud, and there are huge business benefits to be had by using them, but you need to be aware of the threats, risks and consequences before diving in and ask the right questions. Forewarned is forearmed.
Dr. Guy Bunker is Chief Scientist at Symantec Corporation.
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