Category Archives: Cloud Industry Forum

Intermedia gets behind Cloud Industry Forum

Intermedia has joined the CIF

Intermedia has joined the CIF

Cloud management platform provider Intermedia has joined the Cloud Industry Forum in a bid to boost IT reseller and channel sales.

Intermedia’s cloud management platform is aimed at value-added resellers and managed service providers primarily, and helps them support and build demand for cloud services.

By joining the standards body it hopes to certify its cloud services and benefit from the CIF’s evangelising role and existing channel relationships.

“There are some shining examples of resellers that have fully embraced cloud – and are reaping the rewards as a result – but there are many that have yet to adopt it. Intermedia can support resellers who are uncertain as to how to take their first steps to the cloud, as much as we can support those that are looking to transition their whole business to the cloud,” explained Richard Walters, general manager for Intermedia EMEA.

“There’s a significant opportunity, but moving successfully to the cloud does call for fundamental changes to resellers’ business models and it’s important that cloud providers like us can support their transition. The work of the Cloud Industry Forum is crucial to driving change in the industry. Working alongside its community of members we plan to drive Cloud enablement and identify new ways we can support the channel,’’ he added.

Alex Hilton, chief executive of the Cloud Industry Forum said: “The channel has a critical role to play in the continued adoption of cloud services and is well placed to educate the market on the opportunity that cloud represents and to help manage the transition from on-premise solutions. However, to do that, resellers need to ensure they have a clear understanding of the roles of all parties in the delivery of services and establish effective on-going partnerships with suppliers.”

CIF: ‘Lack of trust holding back cloud adoption’

CIF: 'Cloud users are still citing the same inhibitors'

CIF: ‘Cloud users are still citing the same inhibitors’

Security, privacy and lack of control are still the leading inhibitors holding enterprises back from adopting cloud services, according to the Cloud Industry Forum’s latest research.

The CIF, which polled 250 senior IT decision-makers in the UK earlier this year to better understand where cloud services fit into their overall IT strategies, said when asked about their biggest concerns during the decision-making process to move to the cloud, 70 per cent cited data security and 61 per cent data privacy.

Both are up from the 2014 figures of 61 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively.

“Hybrid will be the modus operandi for the majority of organisations for the foreseeable future, being either not yet ready to move everything to the cloud, or unwilling to. There are a number of contributing factors here: fear of losing control of IT systems, security and privacy concerns, and lack of budget currently stand in the way of greater adoption of cloud by businesses,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive of the CIF.

“The primary issue relates to trust: trust that cloud-based data will be appropriately secured, that it won’t be compromised or inadvertently accessed, and that businesses will be able to retrieve and migrate their data when a contract terminates.”

About 40 per cent of respondents were also concerned they would lose control/manageability of their IT systems when moving to cloud, up from 24 per cent last year.

Richard Pharro, chief executive of APM Group, the CIF’s independent certification partner said cloud providers need to improve how to disclose their privacy and security practices in order to inspire more confidence among current and potential users.

“Some Cloud providers are opaque in the way that they operate. The prevalence of click-through licenses, some of which are littered with unrealistic terms and conditions,” Pharro said, adding that improving public disclosure in cloud contracts could go some way towards improving trust and confidence among customers.

CIF: Enterprises still struggling with cloud migration

Enterprises are still struggling with their cloud migrations, the CIF claims

UK enterprises are still struggling with their cloud migrations, the CIF research shows

The latest research published by Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) suggests over a third of UK enterprises IT decision-makers believe cloud service providers could have better supported their migration to the cloud.

The CIF, which polled 250 senior IT decision-makers in the UK earlier this year to better understand where cloud services fit into their overall IT strategies, said its clear UK business are generally satisfied with their cloud services and plan to use more of them. But 35 per cent of those polled also said their companies still struggle with migration.

“The transition to cloud services has, for many, not been as straightforward as expected. Our latest research indicates that the complexity of migration is a challenge for a significant proportion of cloud users, resulting in unplanned disruption to the business,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive of the Cloud Industry Forum.

“There may be a case that cloud service providers need to be better at either setting end user expectations or easing the pain of migration to their services. But equally, it’s important that end users equip themselves with enough knowledge about cloud to be able to manage it and ensure that the cloud-based services rolled out can support business objectives, not hinder them.”

Piers Linney, co-chief executive of Outsourcery said the research highlights the need for providers to develop a “strong integrated stack of partners.”

“IT leaders looking for a provider should first assess their existing in-house skills and experience to understand how reliant they will be on the supplier to ensure a smooth transition. Equally, cloud suppliers need to be more sensitive to their customers’ requirements and tailor their service to the level of support needed for successful cloud adoption,” he said.

“The most critical factor is for IT leaders to really get under the bonnet of their potential cloud provider, make sure that the have a strong and highly integrated stack of partners and a proven track record of delivery for other customers with needs similar to their own.”

CIF cloud code of practice gains European Commission backing

The Cloud Industry Forum's COP gained the EC's seal of approval for cloud certification this week

The Cloud Industry Forum’s COP gained the EC’s seal of approval for cloud certification this week

The Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) code of practice for cloud service providers has been added to the European Commission’s growing list of cloud certification schemes. The move means it passes the EC’s benchmark for service security and reliability.

The Commission’s Cloud Certification Schemes List was set up as part of the European Cloud Strategy and developed by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA); it gives an overview of different existing certification schemes for cloud services in the region.

The scheme effectively the Commission’s way of recognising a certification’s claim to ensuring cloud contracts guarantee a certain level of security or reliability, which it hopes will assure European customers of a provider’s claims and help stimulate spending on cloud services.

“This is a major milestone for the Cloud Industry Forum and the broader cloud community.  There are no dedicated cloud standards in the market, making it difficult for small business customers to identify trusted advisors,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive officer of the Cloud Industry Forum.

“We hope this recognition will encourage more users of cloud services to actively seek providers that are CIF-certified, and likewise more CSPs to seek certification. We have taken important steps in providing a foundation in what is a fast changing and, to many, a new technology sector,” Hilton said.

Other certification schemes included in the list include the Cloud Security Alliance’s attestation, certification and self assessment, EuroCloud’s Star Audit, ISO 27001 and PCI v3.

Richard Pharro, chief executive of APM Group, the Cloud Industry Forum’s certification partner, added: “The Code of Practice was first established with the aim of driving levels of accountability, capability and transparency in the Cloud industry, which are all critical to the Cloud service contract. With the adoption of Cloud within businesses progressing at an incredibly fast rate, those key tenets of Cloud delivery are as important as ever.”

“CSPs need to ensure they operate their businesses and services in a fully open and transparent manner where it is clear to their customers – existing and new – that they are trustworthy and capable of offering the services they claim to be able to offer. The CIF CoP is one of very few schemes which offers this much needed reassurance to end users regarding the organisations they choose to work with,” he added.