Cloud Compliance, Transparency and Support Top Cloud Customers’ Concerns

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Good news – the cloud spending and adoption are both on the rise. Global research firm Forrester forecasts the global public cloud market will reach $191 billion by 2020, up from $53 billion in 2013. However, according to a recent cloud study conducted by Forrester, 60% of cloud customers say that challenges with cloud compliance, transparency and support are preventing them from expanding their cloud use. HOSTING takes a look at what is causing the disconnect.

Cloud adoption grows, but customer satisfaction falls short

Forrester surveyed 275 infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals in the U.S., the U.K. and Singapore who are responsible for selecting and maintaining relationships with their organizations public cloud infrastructure findings. Over 70% of respondents have been using cloud services for more than a year, but aren’t exactly “feeling the love.”

  • Forty-four percent of respondents report that their cloud provider doesn’t know their company or understand their needs.
  • Forty-three percent believe that if they were a bigger customer, their cloud provider would care more about their success.
  • Thirty-three percent of respondents said that they get charged for little question or incident, causing them to not feel like a valued customer.

Compliance concerns impact cloud adoption

As we emphasized in the HOSTING webinar covering the Alert Logic 2015 Cloud Security Report, many cloud customers mistakenly assume that the security and compliance of their data in the cloud rests solely on the cloud service provider (CSP). In reality, it’s a shared responsibility between the customer and the CSP. However, compliance challenges restrict 63% of companies from expanding their cloud usage.

  • Fifty-five percent of compliance-bound companies surveyed indicated that implementing proper controls to achieve compliance requirements eludes them.
  • More than half (51%) of these companies find it difficult to understand the level of compliance their cloud provider offers.
  • Fifty-one percent of companies said they have difficulty getting documentation of their cloud provider’s status which is necessary to complete an audit. And 43% struggle to access documentation of their own compliance status for workloads running in the cloud.

Limited transparency regarding cost and performance hinders cloud growth

The Forrester survey also found that technology managers aren’t getting clear insights regarding cloud costs and performance metrics. Survey respondents reported that they receive incomplete metadata about their cloud workloads including compliance status, performance data, historical information, security data, and billing and cost metrics. What’s even more troubling is that thirty-nine percent paid for cloud resources that weren’t used.

Lack of high-quality support keeps companies from doing business in the cloud

Our webinar, Navigating the Cloud Migration Minefield, lists numerous speed bumps that companies can experience when moving data and applications to the cloud, without the expert guidance of an experienced CSP. While many of the survey respondents engaged with a CSP, fifty-one percent are not satisfied with their onboarding process because it took too long (21%) or it lacked human support (19%). Additionally, once their cloud migration was complete, the respondents experienced lingering support issues (19%) and higher-than-expected cloud support costs (20%). These issues are enough to keep 60% of respondents from expanding their cloud footprint.

3 Steps to ensure cloud transparency, compliance and support

Whether you’re new to the cloud, or an early adopter of it, you can take steps to ensure a successful cloud experience.

1) Ask your CSP tough questions about compliance

While compliance is a shared responsibility, make sure you understand exactly what resources and services the CSP provides in order to keep your data secure and in compliance.

  • Require access to detailed reports of your CSP’s compliance status as well as compliance reports for your workloads.
  • Ask to meet your CSP’s in-house compliance experts (If they don’t have them, it’s time to move on). Talk to them about the support they provide for their customers’ compliance audits. Ask if they offer 100% Audit Assurance.

2) Make transparency non-negotiable

Engage with a CSP that offers superior visibility in to metadata on workload performance, compliance and cloud costs. Evaluate the CSP’s native management tools to ensure they are user-friendly and provide you with the analytics and alerting capabilities your business requires.

3) Schedule a meet-and-greet with your CSP’s support team

Your organization should offer a designated support team that is well-versed in your business needs and cloud environment. Schedule a time to visit with your support team in order to ascertain their cloud knowledge and experience supporting your type of cloud environment. Find out how their performance is measured and if they use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Finally, ask to see sample run books from their other customers.

Don’t let cloud compliance, transparency and support keep you from having a successful cloud experience. Contact the HOSTING cloud experts anytime to discuss your specific cloud needs. You can also download our complimentary white paper, 20 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider.

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