Contract concerns will be the next hurdle for cloud


Business concerns around cloud computing will move away from security issues and onto more contractual problems, as better technology makes users feel more at ease.

This was the view of executives from Vistorm, a HP owned security firm, as well as HP's own security expert.

During a meeting with IT PRO today in central London, the group said security firms are increasingly progressing with technology to make companies and consumers feel safer in the cloud. Next, their concerns will become the finer details of contracts with their cloud providers.

Dan Turner, chief technology officer for Vistorm, said: "Most big enterprises are comfortable that we have a cure for the big issue of data [security], even if there are no global standards as of yet."

"It is happening in the background, but with contractual issues providers [won't get the customers] unless they change their contracts," he added.

Martin Sadler, director of the systems security lab at HP Labs in Bristol, agreed with Turner. "The emphasis will move from data centre to contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and it will become more about services rather than infrastructure," he said.

All admitted that security was still a concern in the current market, however when asked how fast this shift from technology concerns to contractual concerns would happen, Sadler simply said: "Very quickly."

Bryan Littlefair, chief information security officer for Vodafone, joined the conversation claiming he was already seeing this shift happen.

"I even see it happening today and [improvements in] security is the main drive for that," he said.

"One of the big challenges now will be how competitive the cloud market [will become]... and it is a model that hasn't been fully explored yet."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.