Smaller cloud providers are leading the way in cloud certification as they are keen to prove their credentials with customers.
This is according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), based on the number of applications for its code of practice, of which two thirds are currently from SMB providers.
CIF's Code of Practice aims to standardise firms offering cloud services to provide clarity, transparency and assurance to end users looking to migrate to the cloud.
Richard Pharro, chief executive of APM Group, CIF's independent certification partner, said: "There is a general understanding in the minds of end users that size and brand recognition automatically and exclusively equate to capability and trustworthiness.
"While larger organisations may be seen as credible, having built up brand equity and market leading positions, smaller organisations, by contrast, often must do more to prove their credentials to potential customers. For these CSPs, securing independent validation of their services is invaluable, going some way to explain why SMEs account for around two thirds of applications to the CIF code of practice.”
Nigel Webster, chief technical officer at cloud service provider Support on the Spot, backed up the CIF theory.
“There is an onus on SME CSPs to prove their worth in the market, so we needed a way to demonstrate to our customers that we were capable of handling their data and supplying their cloud services," he said.
"We successfully certified against the CIF code of practice in 2012 and felt the benefits immediately. Our customers are certainly appreciative of the effort that we have gone through and it is now the first thing that we mention to new business prospects. We no longer just say ‘trust us’. We now have independent verification that we are a credible, capable and trustworthy provider.”
Andy Burton, chairman of CIF, added: “The CIF code of practice enables professional CSPs to demonstrate, with clarity, their ethics, practices and processes. As in any market sector, independent validations that allow customers to make more educated buying decisions have to be of value. The Cloud Industry Forum has taken important steps in providing this foundation in what is a fast-changing and, to many, a new technology sector.”
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