A guest post by the Government CTO, Liam Maxwell
The recent publication of our updated CloudStore buyers guide marks an important step in our journey to become a more intelligent customer of cloud services. We get the best from cloud providers when they are transparent about the services they provide and how they meet our needs as customers. That's why we also recently published our cloud service security principles - so we can be clear about what we will look for when buying cloud services.
Standards and Certification
The European Commission cloud computing strategy published in 2012 examined the possibility for development of new standards and certification schemes for cloud services - backed up by legislation and procurement policies in member states.
Given our commitment to making Government business more accessible to SMEs, now would be the wrong time for a government body to develop new standards and certification schemes specifically for cloud services for government.
We expect standards to emerge as markets mature - led by the industry, not by government. Governments should be cautious about intervening in the development of standards unless there is clear evidence that markets are not meeting user need.
As cloud computing evolves to a more mature state we would expect industry to collaborate to agree standards which are:
A transparent cloud market
At the end of last year, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) published the results of its work to map existing standards. The report concludes that: ‘Cloud computing specific standards are not seeing widespread adoption by cloud providers to date’.
Neelie Kroes (Vice President of the European Commission) recently blogged to clarify the Commission's current intent, stating that developing new certification schemes is no longer the priority and that adoption of existing schemes should be voluntary:
“Our aim is more transparency in the cloud market: in my view it is up to the players to opt for the schemes that meet their needs best.”
I’m really pleased to see this development in the debate. It’s a pragmatic and market sensitive position. As with all technology, I think the market for cloud services should be driven by user need.