By Claire West

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), established to promote trust, security and transparency within the Cloud Computing sector, has completed the public consultation process on its draft Code of Practice.

Over 200 organisations went through the process of reviewing the draft Code, which aims to eventually standardise and certify enterprises offering Cloud Computing services.

The respondents came from across a broad range of industry sectors including service providers, software vendors, IT consultancies, industry bodies and analysts over a sustained two month period.

The Cloud Industry Forum has been working on the development of the draft Code since October 2009 and it asked for end users, providers and other stakeholders to participate in the consultation process by downloading the draft CoP and providing feedback direct to CIF.

A majority of 89% of those surveyed stated that a Code of Practice as proposed by CIF was of benefit to both the industry and the end user alike.

When asked what specific activity will make Cloud Computing a long term success for UK businesses 20.5% of the sample stated that it had to demonstrate robust security and privacy for data stored online.

At least 60% of the sample believed that having a dedicated body driving best commercial practice for the industry such as CIF, was of benefit to both the industry and the market in general.

Andy Burton, Chairman of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts said: “Interest in CIF has been growing rapidly since we announced its formation and since that time the founding members have been working hard to develop a detailed Code of Practice".

"What was critical in the development of the Code was the process of public consultation. That has taken over two months and encompassed detailed questioning on a range of issues pertaining to governance, transparency, capability and accountability".

“We firmly believe that the market needs a credible and certifiable Code of Practice that provides transparency of Cloud services such that consumers can have clarity and confidence in their choice of provider.”

John Lovelock, Chief Executive at FAST said: “The consensus from the Code of Practice consultation exercise is that a major hurdle for increased adoption of the cloud by businesses is that organisations need clarity around what the service providers do and don’t offer".

"Organisations seeking to use these services need a straightforward form of certification or ‘Code of Practice’ for potential suppliers that will accurately define the services offered and standards of operation and security. We see the launch of such a code of conduct driving up standards so that the industry and the customers both benefit.”

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