Convery (2010)

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Convery, N. (2010) Cloud Computing Toolkit: Guidance for Outsourcing Information Storage to the Cloud. Aberystwyth University and The Archives and Records Association UK and Ireland. (accessed 26-Jul-2012)

This paper describes cloud computing as the ability to access a pool of computing resources which is owned and maintained by a third party via the internet. It is not a new technology but a new way of delivering computing resources based on long existing technologies such as server virtualisation. The 'cloud' as such is composed of hardware, storage, networks, interfaces and services that provide the means through which infrastructure, computing power, applications and services are accessed by the user on-demand and independent of location. Cloud computing usually involves the transfer, storage and processing of information on the provider’s infrastructure which is outside the control of the customer.

The paper is presented as a toolkit information professionals in assessing cloud computing services for organisations and businesses in general. It covers four main areas that should be considered when an organisation intends to outsource business processes and information storage into a cloud environment and should help develop a consistent cloud computing strategy as well as requirements for the required cloud service.

The four areas are:

Overview – an introduction to cloud computing that summarises benefits and challenges facing organisations’ looking to outsource business processes and information to the cloud

Preparing for the cloud – considerations for establishing the right fit between cloud service models and business requirements.

Managing the cloud – considerations for the management of the information lifecycle to meet governance and assurance requirements for information stored in the cloud as well as contractual, cost and audit issues.

Operating in the cloud – technical considerations regarding information (and infrastructure) security and access as well as the availability of services and information in the cloud.

The paper also presents a few case studies drawn from business and government.