In a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, nearly 250 IT leaders and experts shared their concerns regarding cloud computing transparency. It is an issue that remains unanswered despite the prevalence of cloud technologies and improved cloud security and performance over the past decade. According to the survey, a lack of cloud transparency can direly impact any organization’s financial and operational aspects.
What Does Cloud Transparency Mean?
There is no doubt about the growth and potential of cloud computing and its dominating enterprise technology. While cloud vendors are throwing humongous claims regarding their venue, they share little to no information about strategy, service, or performance. Without proper figures or metadata, customers can’t evaluate the service objectively. Lack of cloud computing transparency is one reason businesses can still not trust cloud services despite the improved security.
Typically, cloud computing transparency is all about declaring clear service thresholds. Uptime, system availability, response time, and problem resolution are just a few factors that require an open and honest declaration of the threshold. Everything must be transparent and conveyed, from pricing policies, without any fine print or subtext. That is what transparency means, but we are still far from achieving a level that can improve adaptability.
How to Ensure Transparency in the Cloud
Transparency is required for the bot, the customer-facing, and the public-facing end. Speaking of the latter, most vendors, including Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, offer a breakdown of earnings, revenues, run rates, etc. Oracle even shares a breakdown of the platform, infrastructure, software, etc. However, that is not all about cloud computing transparency.
Many experts believe that this type of information doesn’t precisely improve transparency. It is akin to revealing information while hiding the hardware, specifically in cloud vendors using traditional infrastructure and different cloud flavors. The breakdown needs to be detailed and insightful based on other groups and flavors that the vendor offers. A more customized approach must be adopted to define the revenues while ensuring better cloud computing transparency.
Customer-Facing Cloud Transparency
SAAS providers like Salesforce or Workday must define their infrastructure efficiency benchmarks. Sadly, most vendors do not share a breakdown of the charges related to the backend infrastructure. This keeps the customers from adequately comparing different vendors. Not to mention, it is where cloud computing transparency suffers a blow.
Experts believe customers should ask for a cost breakdown and demand to know the infrastructure cost. That will pressure vendors offering IAAS as a part of SAAS to decouple both offerings. This will considerably lower the Software’s prices as a service product by removing the middleman from the whole equation. If a customer needs to mark up the infrastructure, they will deal directly with the vendor.
How Cloud Transparency will Help Vendors
So far, it seems like transparency is all about benefits for the buyers and users, but that’s not true. Looking at the bigger picture, cloud computing transparency has a critical role in the future of cloud computing. In addition to security, transparency is the most crucial aspect of adaptability. The more transparent the cloud vendors are, the more comfortable enterprises will be inputting their trust in the cloud. With increasing cloud customers, cloud vendors will find more opportunities to optimize their service and spending.
While there is much to be done on the vendor’s end, customers should also be more prudent about choosing a vendor that promises and delivers cloud computing transparency. If possible, visit the data center, and don’t hesitate to ask for compliance audit reports or breach notification policies. Higher transparency will improve the trust between vendors and buyers and eventually shape the cloud’s future.
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