The Cloud-Compliance Challenge

Cloud computing challenges the CIO legally as well as technically!

Cloud computing is the availability of standard IT resources over the internet in a pay-per use model. Initially this is an attractive proposition. However there are many challenges which CIOs will face when running firm critical applications and data over the internet. The most successful CIOs have built an IT governance strategy to avoid the uncontrolled variety of technologies, meta data and business process evolution in their IT landscape. A good governance strategy ultimately makes the implementation of legal compliance requirements from Basel II or SOX much easier. Without searching first for critical data, an orderly approach is much simpler and the CIO won’t be the only one sleeping better.

So long as everything is in your own company or at local infrastructure, IT governance and compliance should be governed centrally from the CIO office. But what happens when a firm’s cloud computing is effectively deployed? This technology paradigm has its largest cost savings when applications and business processes have extremely high and uneven resource requirements. In most cases these are automatically firm critical applications and confidential data. The responsibility of a CIO then moves from pursuing operational excellence in the datacenter, to the greater responsibility of developing and managing intelligent sourcing concepts in the cloud and bringing its consequences under control. The large cloud computing vendors are nearly without exception international firms and a core basis for their cost-effective deployment lies in their global sourcing strategies. IT governance and legal compliance must also be developed to cloud governance and global provider governance.

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