The Chain of Trust – a Cloud Service Provider Evaluation Guide

With the help of their Belgian member BELTUG, INTUG have put together this short guide to help both our members and theirs to determine which provider and service is right for them. The questions and issues focus not on whether cloud computing is right for them, but rather are intended to put them on the path to carefully evaluating the CSPs and their offers.

Selecting the right cloud service provider (CSP) to trust with applications and data can be a difficult process. The CSP landscape is very diverse; there are lots of different solutions available, each with its specific advantages and disadvantages.

This paper has a Q&A format and does not focus on whether cloud computing is the right choice for large businesses, but aims to put them on the path to carefully evaluating the CSPs and their offers.

The key questions a customer should ask are:

  • Does the service proposed offer a proper match for the business needs?
  • Does the service pricing fit with the budget stated in the business case?
  • Have all risks and the costs to mitigate those risks been addressed?

The evaluation process proposed in the guide is based upon five essential characteristics of cloud services as defined by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology:

  • On‐demand self‐service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

In addition to assessing the degree of cloud‐readiness of a CSP based on these five essential characteristics a number of additional questions to ask a potential CSP are provided in the paper.