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Cloud SLAs--the devil's in the details

Paul Haswell | July 9, 2014
Use of cloud-based systems and services is now mainstream, and a key part of IT strategies for many enterprises. Yet ask any IT manager or CIO about their chief concern with cloud systems and you'll get the same answer--security.

So what's the solution? Essentially providers (and their legal teams) need more faith in the systems they are selling. Be prepared to put your money behind that claim and insist on a contract that provides proper compensation in the event that something goes wrong. If the system is bulletproof as claimed, then it's unlikely that the service provider will ever need to pay out, correct?

Users, particularly those with limited legal support or bargaining power, need to start voting with their wallets. Different vendors will have different terms and conditions, and the market for cloud services is a competitive one. Those vendors best able to meet their customers' needs — that is, by not only offering a secure solution but one which is commercially and legally sound, will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.

It's easy to be misled by glossy brochures and online pitches promoting unique security features and infallible systems. But look behind that. If a cloud provider isn't prepared to take the hit when their infallible system falls over, then question whether it really is infallible.


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