SCL Response to Cloud Industry Forum Survey

June 1, 2010

The Cloud Industry Forum published a draft Industry Code of Practice in April and sought views from all manner of interested parties on the draft. Following a meeting hosted by Hunton & Williams, an SCL team led by Bridget Treacy has completed the formal survey document. A pdf of the full response can be downloaded from the panel opposite. 

When launching the draft Code, Andy Burton, Chairman of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts said ‘Interest in CIF has been growing rapidly since we announced its formation in 2009 and since that time the founding members have been working hard to develop a detailed Code of Practice. 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. Organisations seeking to use Cloud services need a straightforward form of certification or “Code of Practice” for potential suppliers that will accurately define the services offered, standards of operation and security’.  

While being supportive of the concept underpinning the draft Code and the need for such a Code, the SCL response highlights certain shortcomings. For example, the SCL response comments ‘The draft does not currently provide a “frame of reference on how to compare and contrast the role of the Code of Practice against other relevant standards”, as intended. Assuming the Code is targeted at mid-sized and smaller vendors, it may assist those users to receive more detailed guidance about the issues and best practice. Standard Ts and Cs might be included.’ The SCL response also suggests that the Code should include only mandatory requirements and that any potential for vendors to select the elements of the Code with which they comply will lead to confusion for consumers and may dilute the value of the Code. The response closes with the sensible reminder that the Cloud Industry Forum needs to consider whether and how to make the Code contractually binding and enforceable as between parties.

SCL and its Trustees are keen to record their gratitude to all those who took part in creating a response to the Survey, and especially for the speed of that response.