In India, ‘Aam Aadmi’ (AD) means a common man. I am a big fan of relating strategy or business operations to things we do with a bit of common sense in the course of a normal day.
India has a big demand for gold and historically households have had some portion of savings in gold, precious stones and their other amorphous forms. Since safety of these precious stuff is always a concern, people prefer to lock them away in safety lockers provided by Banks for a fee and access the items on need only basis.
Wait a minute, now what’s all of this got to do with making a decision to move IT stuff to the cloud?!
Think of the gold/precious stones as your precious data/information/infrastructure(THE STUFF) and the banks as the cloud vendors and the ‘AAM AADMI’ (AD) as you who has been entrusted with making the final decision:
What attributes would the common man(you) check before selecting the bank(cloud vendor)??
1) User access
— AD would check who has authorized access to the ‘stuff’, and about the hiring and management of personnel administering the service.
2) Provision for Random Audits
— AD would check compliance to regulations and industry standards, also ensure that the vendor is willing to undergo external audits and security checks.
3) Data location
— AD would check the location of the operations center and also check for options to control the location where the stuff is stored. AD wouldn’t want the precious asset to be stored in shady or inaccessible locations.
4) Data segregation
— AD would make sure that the stuff is segregated and encrypted, and the keys to the locker are unique and access is not available to anyone else.
5) Data Recovery
— God forbid but when a disaster occurs or stuff is stolen, AD would want to check the recovery plans put in place. This will also help in identifying the type of insurance to be serviced.
6) Vendor Business Viability
— Most importantly, AD would want to know what happens to the stuff if the vendor goes out of business? How will the stuff be returned, and in what format?
The above six steps of aam aadmi’s thought process should help the IT managers make better assessment of moving to the cloud.