Article
Written by Kady Potter
Posted on 03/01/2014

Do compliance and the cloud always have to clash?

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Issues and complications with data protection and related legislation mean that businesses are still wary of using the cloud as a solution to their corporate data storage needs.

It’s said that compliance is needed to restrain a business in numerous ways, and that the point of the cloud is to help push it forwards and experiment. On paper, this looks like an ‘unstoppable force/immovable object’ scenario where neither can win.

This potential clash of cultures is a global concern, as evidenced in a recent poll by NTT Com Security. 86% of respondents said that complexities surrounding data legislation and compliance are the cause of much slower adoption of the cloud than first anticipated.

Complying with the Data Protection Act isn’t always straightforward, especially for online retailers which receive, transfer and store sensitive customer information. There are individual guidelines set out for how businesses obtain consent, where and how they store data (and for how long), disclosure and how information should be disposed of. Failing to provide adequate data security could put customers at very serious financial risk. Naturally adherence to government legislation and guidelines is key to ongoing strategy for all companies, including SMEs.

The combination of the cloud and full compliance has worked in some high-profile cases: US investment bank Jefferies Global credits their cloud-based communications and compliance archive for lowering company costs. A very careful balance has been made with the system, showing an understanding of the cloud’s framework and possibilities that other organisations may lack – this could well be what’s holding them back.

As well as recognising how use of the cloud can be approached from a new and more effective angle, compliance remains at the fore. Businesses may wish to seek more intelligence and advice in both of these areas when building the confidence to advance.