The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), a sub-group of FAST, established to promote trust, security and transparency within the sector, has started work on an industry Code of Conduct.

The CIF met last week to agree the process of developing a ‘strawman’ code of conduct, which aims to eventually standardise and certify enterprises offering Cloud Computing services.

The CIF roundtable brought together key industry figures to discuss the issues and challenges that surround the development of a Code of Conduct to offer certification for providers.

One of the key points that came out of the meeting was the need to closely define what we mean by the term ‘Cloud’. Already the market is beginning to subdivide with the growth of terms such as Private Cloud/Public Cloud and if left unchecked we could see the entire term becoming blurred which would confuse and hamper its adoption.

Organisations seeking to use these services need a straightforward form of certification or ‘Code of Conduct’ for potential suppliers that will accurately define the services offered, standards of operation and security.

The Code of Conduct debate encompassed a wide range of issues pertinent to its development incorporating discussions on areas such as operational issues, delivery, financial viability of suppliers, governance and technology standards and interoperability.

Chairman of the CIF Group Andy Burton, who is also chief executive at Web-hosting company Fasthosts, added: “There is now no doubt that the buzz around the concept of Cloud has reached new heights. Many in the IT industry are claiming it will be the next evolution of the Internet. Equally there are sceptical voices to be heard. But as with every new trend in the IT world, organisations are looking to identify the benefits and risks of Cloud Computing and the best way to use it.

“What is needed now is an objective, clearly understood approach to the concept of Cloud computing that will detail how it will impact business, how it can be used with existing investments, and just which supplier can offer the best solution for a particular business need. CIF intend to drive the debate to ensure that Cloud providers work together to ensure that challenges to cloud adoption – such as security, integration, portability, interoperability, governance and management – are addressed in an industry-wide Code of Conduct.”

CIF will shortly announce the formation of a working group made up of informed industry leaders to drive the creation and launch of a Code of Conduct in the UK.