Global Regulation and Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is many things, ranging from an exciting new business model to merely refining an old and existing technology. This chapter does not attempt to define cloud computing. It instead focuses on the relationship of cloud computing and regulation, defines the causes and impact of regulation, and tries to predict what future regulation may look like. A company or agency planning to leverage cloud computing or preparing for market, customer, or auditor oversight of a cloud computing implementation must answer practical questions such as: What are regulatory issues I should examine? and What is the real effect of regulation?
Because cloud computing is still early in its adoption cycle, there are many service providers in the marketplace, many options regarding implementation, and not yet many rules. Many technology industry analysts and corporate executives believe that the future of cloud computing will inevitably include new regulation. But what will the effects of that regulation be? On the one hand, regulation may consist of rules that will help the average consumer of cloud services by improving those services, ensuring auditability, and creating a business case for security. But as organizations consider how to best leverage computing on demand, regulation could drive up the cost for a cloud service provider to deliver, thus undermining the business cases for using cloud computing, such as pay-by-the-drink ...