Report highlights pitfalls when adopting cloud computing services

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Mark O'Loughlin, head of cloud advisory and consulting, Auxilion. 1

Businesses using cloud computing need to ensure that they receive adequate levels of service and support from their cloud service provider. This advice is contained in a report from Auxilion, the Irish owned cloud services company.

“Cloud computing and cloud based services are growing exponentially, yet many organisations are unaware of the questions they need to ask to ensure quality of service,” commented Mark O’Loughlin, head of cloud advisory and consulting at Auxilion and author of the report.

Mark O’Loughlin

The report “IT service management and cloud computing” highlights key questions which must be asked before implementing cloud services. These range from: “In what legal jurisdiction is the data stored?” to “What is the actual level of service and back up provided?”

“For example, customers may assume that their applications and services are fully resilient and backed-up, only to find out during a service outage that they have inadequate arrangements in place,” commented Mark O’Loughlin.

“The legal jurisdiction of where the data is stored also poses serious legal and compliance issues such as who has access to the data from a legal perspective and what data protection laws apply,” added O’Loughlin who was one of the first people globally to be awarded the ITIL Master accreditation and is author of ‘The Service Catalog – A Practitioner Guide’.

He added that, in particular, the more mature cloud providers are overcoming the issue of data residency by providing solutions. Customers now have options and can decide at a more granular level where data resides e.g. in country only, in-jurisdiction or globally dispersed.

Mr O’Loughlin said that contrary to perception, cloud computing is not a new technology. “The basic principles of cloud computing date back to the mainframe era of the 1950s and ‘60s.”

“Customers of cloud computing and cloud based services should expect, and demand, at least the same levels of service as that provided by traditional IT service providers and internal IT organisations,” states the report.

The report recommends implementing ITIL principles to support the adoption and use of cloud computing and cloud based services. ITIL is the most recognised framework for IT service management in the world.

“Applied properly, cloud computing has huge cost and productivity benefits,” commented Mark O’Loughlin. “For example, businesses no longer need to procure, operate and maintain full and complete back-end IT infrastructure and applications. In addition, smart phone and tablet devices have enabled new mobile business models which did not exist ten years ago, via cloud enabled applications and improvements in data communications and broadband access and speeds.”

“However, when adopting cloud computing and cloud based services, businesses should not forget the basic principles of IT service management.”

The report “IT service management and cloud computing” may be downloaded from here.