28 June, 2012
“In a networked world, trust is the most important currency.” Eric Schmidt
Cloud computing represents a major transformation in the way companies leverage information and appeals with its offer of a one-stop-shop, cost-effective, hassle-free, and efficient business environment. Acting Deputy Director General of Information Society and Media for the European Commission, Megan Richards, emphasised during her speech at the Cloud Computing World Forum conference in London (15 June 2012) the sizable market and ever growing trend that is expected to reach 11 billion in revenue by 2014, representing 3.6 percent of the total IT market.
Nevertheless, the cloud’s birth and existence has challenged, and still does, one of the crucial components in any type of relationship – trust! From a ‘face-to-face’, on-premise, product-based, controlled IT business environment, to externally service-based sourced operations. In his book The Big Switch, Nicholas Carr shows an historic analogy that brilliantly reflects the effects of a similar significant shift that took place in the 19th Century: the evolution of power plants. At the time, companies who usually generated their own power from in-house steam engines and dynamos, have gradually plugged into the cheap power that was generated from newly built, professionally run, centralised electric grid of electric utilities.
Trust in cloud computing, or concerns over it, refer to the characteristics of the technology (reliability, security) as much as to legislation, governance, and organisational issues. While some aspects can be overcome only by government legislations and regulations, or are associated to the psychological, behavioural, and technical customer’s ‘time-of-adaption’, others are directly linked to practices and steps taken by the cloud provider.
- Security – When communicating sensitive documents for signing purposes in the Cloud, comprehensive security measures have exceptional importance. The Secured Signing’s user-based PKI digital signature technology provides each user with a unique digital ID (signing key) that is accessible only to that user. The system instantly seals the signed document, and any changes made invalidate the signatures. Furthermore, users have the ability to verify their signatures offline any time at their desktop / mobile device, or at the Secured Signing’s Free Verification Service.
- Reliability – Business reliability is an essential indicator of the attitude, actions, and results derived from a service. Continuous setting of goals, ongoing development, and regular quality evaluation and monitoring are at the heart of the Secured Signing digital signature cloud service. Constant online signing performance assessments and follow-through processes ensure customers’ satisfaction: “The Secured Signing solution impressed us instantly with its high level of security, capabilities, and seamless implementation” Gadi Hadar, Managing Director at Asia Pacific Easy-Forex.
- Open communication – The fundamental shift in human communication behaviour requires cloud services to acknowledge and respond to their digitally aware clients. Successful communication is associated with trust and influences brand loyalty that will guarantee commitment of even geographically dispersed customers. With the apparent value of multiple ways for communicating (via e-mail or direct phone with the service provider), it’s the prompt, approachable, and responsive service that creates the difference: “Secured Signing was very fast and responsive whenever we asked for something. Their customer service is amazing.” Kym Volp, Queensland State Manager, Evolve Scientific Recruitment.
Till next time,