Responsibilities - Who Is Responsible for What?

Cloud computing is a revolutionary technology currently being used to provide IT services online. Cloud service providers offer computing services that include complete business applications and data storage space to multiple customers located in different places. That means customers can use cloud computing services from their computers or mobile devices from any location in world.

By providing services to different customers at the same time, the provider is able to offer these services at an affordable rate. Through cloud computing services, consumers, public organizations and businesses can access many affordable services that are very expensive to get on their own. Below we will look at the responsibilities of consumers and cloud service providers.

Who Retains the Ownership?

The cloud service provider does not reserve the right to use, manipulate or access the customer’s data unless permitted by the service consumer. Therefore, consumers retain the right of ownership to use their own data. Service consumers should know that this issue can be complicated if multiple parties access this data; a good example is a business-to-business service where suppliers and consumers have access to the data. Consumers must be careful when allowing the access of multiple users.

Service Level Agreements Are Meant to Address Remediation, Liabilities and Business Outcomes

Computing services can easily suffer due to slowdowns and failures, but many providers rarely commit themselves to recovery times or even spell out the kind of procedures they are likely to follow. Service level agreements will describe the service provider’s commitments.

Cloud services require this kind of agreement depending on the type of cloud computing service provided. The agreement should be relevant to your business even though service providers rarely customize them. The service level agreement should be comprehensive so that it can capture business issues related to your business.

Notifications and Other Changes That Can Affect the Consumer’s Business Processes

Service consumers will buy cloud services in order to support their business processes, but sometimes providers can change the terms soon after the consumer signs up with them. These changes can include upgrades and prices, which could damage your business because it’s costly to switch to another provider.

A service provider cannot guarantee to provide a smooth service without disruptions. Instead, a provider has the responsibility to protect their consumer’s business by providing advanced notifications of system changes or major upgrades. Such changes include introduction of new versions of services, upgrading software, changing location, shuttering facility, exiting business, and so on.

Legal Requirements in Regards to Jurisdictions of Where the Provider Operates

Service consumers are likely to overlook the critical legal issues due to the speed and ease of using cloud services. If a provider stores the service consumer’s data in a different country, or transfers the data to a foreign country, a consumer could be subjected to matters of laws and regulations without his knowledge.

The service provider has a responsibility to assure his consumers that he doesn’t violate the laws of any foreign country. The providers should also inform the service consumers which country they store their data in so that they can make a decision whether it’s safe to use their cloud service.

These responsibilities will help the consumers understand what to expect from the providers. Respecting these responsibilities will require effort from the providers and consumers so that the service can be of benefit to both. Knowing these rights and responsibilities will help the service consumers to make informed decisions.

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