Cloud computing code of practice launches

Cloud computing

After almost a year of consultation, the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has finally launched its code of practice for cloud computing services.

More than 200 organisations have been involved in the process of drafting the code since October last year and it has being widely welcomed by an industry in desperate need of standards.

It was piloted by a number of the CIF's members for over four months to ensure the code was suitable to implement and CIF admitted many changes had been made along the way.

However, Andy Burton, chairman of CIF and chief executive (CEO) of Fasthosts, said: "We firmly believe that the market needs a credible and certifiable Code of Practice that provides transparency of Cloud services such that consumers can have clarity and confidence in their choice of provider. The market now has that benchmark."

There are three main pillars to the code of practice transparency, capability and accountability.

For the first, it stated: "The Code does not specify best practice in cloud computing except with respect to transparency. Organisations complying with the Code shall conduct themselves in an open and transparent manner which facilitates rational decision-making and management by purchasers of their services."

CIF then measures a company's capability to "perform essential management functions" and ensures they are "accountable for their compliance with the code and for their behaviour with customers."

To gain certification, companies can opt for either annual self certification, subject to spot checks by CIF, or go for independent certification by the organisation. Those who pass will then be allowed to use the independent certification mark and be listed on CIF's website.

The code has gained the support of EuroCloud UK, which counts SAP and Webroot as members.

"We welcome this initiative as it helps end users as they look to the industry to define and agree on best practices for cloud computing which they can rely on," said Phil Wainewright, EuroCloud UK president.

"Organisations seeking to use these services need a straightforward form of certification or code of practice' for potential suppliers that will unambiguously define the services offered, standards of operation and security. The CIF Code helps further EuroCloud's strategy to develop an industry-wide framework for customer confidence in the quality and integrity of cloud delivered services."

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.