In recent post, fellow BSM Blogger, Lee Frazier, gave The Top Reasons We Have Not Reached SLA Nirvana – Yet. Lee gave a lot of good reasons why we’ve failed to reach that perfect state just yet when it comes to service level agreements (SLAs).
At a session recently at the AIIM/info360 conference, analyst Jarrod Gingras from the Real Story Group gave a presentation on what he considered to be cloud myths. Gingras wasn’t there to sing the cloud’s praises that’s for sure. In fact, using content management as the example, he put a decidedly negative spin on things. That’s not because he wanted to be contrary just for the sake of it. He wanted us as individuals to think through the pros and especially the cons of this approach.
And one of those myths was that you could protect yourself legally via the SLA. Hold on a second! I was always under the impression the SLA was the final abriter and the saving grace of cloud computing. Not so says Gingras and not for any of the 7 reasons Lee Frazier outlined in his post — but because of technical limitations.
He gave the example of a Canadian company that wanted to go with a Cloud solution, but because it was dealing with public records that had to remain inside Canada, and there were no guarantees the files would not be stored on a server in the U.S., they simply couldn’t go with the solution they liked, and no SLA language could have protected them in that instance.
He went to discuss instances where a company needs to ensure that files are deleted completely, a process he referred to as “digital shredding.” Gingras said that to his knowledge there wasn’t a provider that would put such a guarantee in an SLA because it was too hard to ensure. As he put it, “If you think the SLA will protect you [in this instance], think again.”
So perhaps we should an eighth item to Lee’s list.
8. Legal System hasn’t caught up with technology.
As Lee indicated, none of these are necessarily show stoppers for every company, nor are they insurmountable. Some are cultural, some are technical and some are legal. Sooner or later we may actually reach SLA nirvana, but for now we have people like Frazier and Gingras making sure we understand there is no such thing as an iron clad agreement just yet.
Photo by Cletch on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.