Yardstick - Issue 4 2017 - 34
[ TECHNOLOGY ]
Moving to the Cloud:
Key Contract Provisions
By Joe Dysart
WHILE UNTOLD NUMBERS OF Western
lumber retailers are saving money by moving
to the cloud, IT experts say these businesses
need to ensure their cloud contracts include
ironclad security protections - or they'll
suffer an uncertain future.
Moreover, getting from 'uncertainty' to
'protected' can be more difficult than you
might expect, given that many cloud services
providers are reluctant to put security
assurances in writing.
"We continue to see frustration among
cloud services users over the form and degree
of transparency they are able to obtain from
prospective and current service providers,"
says Alexa Bona, a managing vice president
at Gartner (www.gartner.com), a market
Not surprisingly, the cat-and-mouse game
between user and cloud provider is taking a toll.
Many companies are simply delaying a move to
the cloud due to their concerns over security,
according to a recent study released by Bitglass
(www.bitglass.com), a cloud security firm.
"We continue to see
frustration among cloud
services users over
the form and degree
of transparency they
are able to obtain from
prospective and current
Specifically, Bitglass researchers found
that more than half of large-sized companies
(52%) and approximately one-third of small-tomedium-sized companies (33%) cite security as
their primary concern when it comes to cloudbased IT, according to Bitglass.
Fortunately, federal governments worldwide
are trying to assuage concerns. The U.S.
National Institute of Standards and Technology,
for example, have released new standards
for any cloud service provider looking to do
business with the U.S. federal government.
Essentially, the standards are expected to
serve as best practice cloud security contract
templates businesses worldwide.
Based on the recent survey findings on the
level of business interest in the cloud, those
guidelines are expected to be a godsend to the
millions of Western lumber retailers and other
businesses eyeing the technology.
Specifically, a recent Forrester (www.
forrester.com) report found that 77% of
businesses across a spectrum of industries
worldwide say they either already relying on
the cloud for at least a part of their operations,
or they plan to within the next two years.
And 70% of businesses are looking to work
with a cloud services provider that offers a
single point of accountability.
If you count your lumber retail business
among those looking to move to the cloud,
The artificial intelligence behind Watson,
the IBM computer that bested humans on
the TV show "Jeopardy," is now available
as a cloud service.
YARDSTICK | August/September 2017