Transparency: One of the Biggest Cloud Computing Challenges

Connection lines Around Earth Globe, Motion of digital data flow. Futuristic Technology Theme Background with Light Effect. 3D Rendering
In a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, nearly 250 IT leaders and experts shared their concern regarding cloud computing transparency. It is an issue that largely remains unanswered despite the prevalence of cloud technologies and improvement in cloud security and performance over the past decade. According to the survey, a lack of cloud transparency can have a dire impact on financial and operational aspects of any organization.

What Does Cloud Transparency Actually Mean?

There is no doubt about the growth and potential of cloud computing and the way it is 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, it is impossible for customers to objectively evaluate the service. Lack of cloud computing transparency is one of the reasons businesses are still unable to 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. From policies to pricing, everything needs to be transparent and clearly conveyed 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 bot, the customer facing and 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 and software, etc. However, that is not all to cloud computing transparency.

Many experts believe that this type of information doesn’t exactly improve transparency. It is akin to revealing information while hiding the hardware. Specifically, in the case of cloud vendors using both the traditional infrastructure and different flavors of cloud. The breakdown needs to be detailed and insightful based on different groups and flavors as offered by that vendor. In simpler words, a more customized approach must be adopted to clearly define the revenues while ensuring better cloud computing transparency.

Customer-Facing Cloud Transparency

SAAS providers, such as Salesforce or Workday, need to 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 really suffers a blow.

Experts believe that customers should ask for a breakdown of the cost and demand to know the infrastructure cost. That will pressurize vendors who are offering IAAS as a part of SAAS to decouple both offerings. This will considerably lower the prices of Software as a Service products by removing the middleman from the whole equation. In case a customer needs to mark up the infrastructure, they will be dealing 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 very important role to play 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 in putting their trust in the cloud. With an increasing number of cloud customers, cloud vendors will find more opportunities to optimize their service as well as their spending. 

While there is a lot to be done on the vendor’s end, customers should also be more prudent about choosing a vendor that promises cloud computing transparency and delivers it. Pay a visit to the data center, if possible, and don’t shy away from asking for compliance audit reports or breach notification policies. Higher transparency will improve the level of trust between vendor and buyers, and eventually shape the future of the cloud.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.