Cloud Computing Services the Last Several Decades Essay

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Cloud Computing Services

The last several decades have seen the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) business model and more specifically, the provision of cloud computing services to various clients. "Cloud computing enables a company to tap into raw computing power, storage, software applications and data from large data centers over the Internet. Customers pay only for the computing resources they need, when they need them. Using the cloud lets businesses avoid building their own data centers and buying servers and disks. (Bulkeley, 2009)" For businesses or organizations whose core competency is not information technology or related fields, availing of cloud computing services makes good business sense because the entities can concentrate on their core businesses and let the technology companies handle their information technology and information systems requirements.

Cloud computing companies like any business exist to provide services to clients in order to derive revenue and achieve business continuity and resilience. Consequently, employees and managers working for a cloud company are expected to achieve these goals by performing their job functions with diligence and commitment. A manager more particularly doing sales functions in a cloud computing company will need to convince a client about the merits of the services provided by the company. However, in presenting the case to the client there may be an issue with regards to lock-in with the cloud service provider and there are always positive benefits as well as negative effects when a client is locked-in. Foremost of which is that "rival companies promote their own, mutually incompatible, standards and formats, as they have done in the past. Moving data from one cloud-based storage system to another, for example, is not always easy. (The Economist Newspaper Limited, 2009)"

In the spirit of transparency and fair play, the cloud computing manager must thoroughly and carefully explain to the client the pros and cons of both locking-in an unlocking-out with the service.
The cloud computing company may offer the client cheaper rates if the client agrees to a lock-in. If the client opts not to be locked-in despite higher rates, the cloud computing manager can advise the client that the company will assist them in ensuring that there will be compatibility with the standards and formats with other service providers. Although this will entail additional cost for the client, having several options will enable the client to make an informed as to the best option suitable for the organization. On the plus side for the cloud computing manager, he is laying out "all the cards" to the client to ensure that he is not merely making a hard sell but endeavoring to become a valued partner of the client. Once the client has made a final decision, all agreements should be detailed and clearly written out in the service level agreement (SLA) in order to have a legally documented service level expectation.4

Aside from the issue of locking-in, the manager needs to clearly state the cloud computing company's position with regards to privacy issues. Fortunately, privacy issues are no longer relegated to agreements between parties but are dictated by statues and legislations. For instance, "storing so much personal information, and using it to target advertising, has privacy implications and data stored in the cloud may not be safe. (The Economist Newspaper Limited, 2009)" Thus, the manager must provide the client with evidence of the cloud computing company's clear cut policies on information security that specifically covers how the company protects the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information particularly personally identifiable information (PII). Further, there should be an assurance that information garnered from the cloud services client will not be used by the cloud computing company for any means unless there is an explicit and implicit authorization from the client. Better yet,….....

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