We had a lively meeting at the Financial Services Club the other day, talking about cloud computing in banking.
I say lively because it is still clear to me that cloud is misunderstood in banking.
I guess because cloud is this amorphous mass of stuff that is ill-defined and hard to track down to a real requirement.
You have all these things as a service you see. Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service … you name it as a Service.
Nevertheless, we did spread some light on the subject by a panel discussion that comprised some lawyers (Kemp Little), some providers (Amazon Web Services), some users (Visa Europe) and some innovators (the Currency Cloud).
I’m not going to share the whole debate here, as you should have been there if you’re interested, but I will share the lawyers slides as they’re interesting.
The reason being that I particularly liked this slide, which shows the transition from bureaux based technology services half a century ago to utility computing today.
This is just a continuum and, from a legal perspective, should be considered in the same way as offshoring or outsourcing: it’s just another form of contracting for third party services.
That’s all cloud is, and you may be contracting for third party compute power or third party CRM, but it’s all just about third party contracting, and that requires decent due diligence of the third parties involved, along with clear-cut SLA’s and confidentiality agreements.
As a result, the legal perspective was summarised as:
- Rule #1: Never place unresolved problems in the Cloud
- Rule #2: Retain the ability to manage your supplier and your resources
- Rule #3: Review and manage your data before transitioning to cloud
- Rule #4: For good or bad, always have an exit plan
Here is the full set of legal slides if interested: