NSAI-approved cloud framework aims to increase project success

2 Aug 2012

Lavinia Morris, head of IT operations for Friends First Group

Businesses thinking about cloud computing can make more informed decisions and increase the chances of a successful outcome using the SWiFT10 national standard for cloud procurement, one of its backers has said.

Lavinia Morris, who chaired the working group responsible for developing SWiFT10, said the standard is designed to help organisations of all sizes by giving them a framework to assess the risks and benefits of the cloud.

The document was procured according to the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) guidelines, and was compiled by the Irish Internet Association’s cloud computing working group, which comprises voluntary members representing a broad swathe of organisation types from small business, public sector and finance to media, technology, law, consulting and the non-profit sector. 

“It was born out of many of us looking around and seeing no reference guide for what do to. In other areas of IT there is a reference architecture,” said Morris, who is head of IT operations at Friends First and is a member of the ISO National Mirror Committee in Ireland with responsibility for setting standards in distributed application services and platforms which includes cloud computing.

“If you’re thinking of going to cloud, there are a number of things you need to be aware of, whether it’s good for you or bad for you. Obviously the vendors are always going to promote the benefits, and there’s a lot of bad press out there, some of it unjustified. People are kind of paralysed and don’t know what to do. Both sides of the argument are given here,” said Morris.  

“I think it quickens the process for deciding and it will also improve the success rate [of projects] because organisations will be making decisions on what’s deployed based on a proper assessment, as opposed to taking a big leap. If you take the ‘all or nothing’ approach, a lot of organisations will do nothing,” added Morris. 

“The upshot of it is, it will allow people to make the right choices. It’s quite prescriptive and the idea is, it’ll help you pick the areas of your business that are suitable for cloud adoption and areas that aren’t, giving a framework for deciding why you would use it in certain areas and not in others.”

‘Adopting the Cloud’, the SWiFT10 document, is available to download for free from the Irish Internet Association’s website.

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Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic