This article provides a useful look at the outsourcing relationship and compares this with the Cloud contracts. In particular (quote) “Cloud computing blurs the lines between what had been conventional outsourcing and internal operations, and it will test IT’s management and control policies”. The article points out that companies are not ready for the challenges of Cloud growth, with their survey suggesting only “17% say they directly monitor the performance and uptime of all of their cloud and SaaS applications”. with a “shocking 59% relying on their vendors to monitor themselves”.
This is indeed shocking. As companies contemplate moving their operations to the Cloud they are perhaps being led into a strong sense of security by the vendors promises. But as demand grows these vendors facilities will be stretched and less certain.
On contracts the article points out that a cloud computing contract is a hybrid of outsourcing, software and leasing and are major contractual commitments.
Finally the more obvious points about business strategy are made – pointing out that a cloud provider may be less interested in driving innovation and major technological change as they are not as aligned to a businesses core capabilities and objectives.