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Monday, June 20, 2016
Cloud Computing Service Considerations
Cloud computing service considerations are developing as the concept catches on. Incidents of a breach, contract disputes, hacking, and ongoing lawsuits are serving the way for conditions to be highlighted. Nascent, cloud computing contracts were conceived as a data storage solution for businesses, municipal entities, and state organizations. So long as remote access was guaranteed, all was good and happy. Clouds were never seen. All too frequently shortsighted and often miss crucial business facets of on-going business operations were overlooked. The cloud service levels are initially considered but not the ongoing issues that arise from changes in the administrative roles of the service provider host. Critical issues if overlooked will have future consequences for both the host and the client. Experience is seldom a happy story to failed cloud computing agreements and Enterprise Resources Planning software compendiums to the naïve and eager business, firm, agency, and the like.
The value of the service to be provided via the cloud, whether from the client/subscriber perspective or from the service provider’s perspective. The entire idea of housing all the digital data (records, apps, forms, business correspondence, business contracts, designs, price lists, and so on in a remote server, so long as it saves space, save a business from hiring records keepers and storage clerks, is tantalizing to the small and medium size business. It is now catching the attention of municipal governments, state agencies and their shared resource centers and state technology enterprises. Storage resource centers started conceptually in Florida in 1999 and many followed suit since.
Backup administration and their process frequency should be addressed to minimize liabilities in any ERP agreement. Liabilities soon creep up and dog the company relying on providing its clients its services via the cloud. As such, the cloud service provider’s (CPC) performance, its service levels, backups, and reliability of service is central. As sunny days become cloudy, cloud services are not non-interruptible. And so goes the need to assess the capabilities of the cloud service provider.
The haste in which subscribers seek cloud services for the appearance of storage and remote clutter-free access and the appearance of efficiencies at time overlook the levels of stackable fees. The suite packages that hosts provide through their licensing cloud software product provider, i.e. Microsoft®, Oracle®, Cisco®, IBM® have a plethora of products from which to select individually or bundled. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) service companies may display levels of service and support services in their product offerings. ERPs are an integrated form of software deployed to seamlessly work together to manage business operations.
The concept of ‘software as a service’ “SaaS” tying a subscriber to a three (3) to (5) year contract is unpalatable when conceiving the potential frequency of service interruptions. The possibilities for litigation are bright. The idea of state and federal regulatory noncompliance puts a subscriber of cloud services in the cross hairs of a regulatory body and certainly ‘cloud’ the sunniness of the ERP provided by the cloud service vendor. The offset cost for downtime and interruptions are glossed over. Failure to memorialize the duties and responsibilities in case of the unfortunate cloud circumstance leave the subscriber at a loss. If revenues decline what recourse is available to the subscriber? The saga continues and begs for a follow-up, but just one point to keep in mind for the follow-up, the personal human attention that at first was desired to be minimized by resorting to ERP and Saas concepts, essentially reducing the human element, has by experience been an unintended resolving alternative when it gets cloudy in a subscriber’s business operation.