Which areas of cloud computing are most in need of cloud standards?

Which aspects of cloud computing are most in need of cloud standards? 

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A key component to any cloud service is the ability to bill for it. The billing requirements for cloud services should not be underestimated, making billing procedures a prime area for cloud computing standards to have great influence.

It's important that competitor capabilities and customer needs are clearly understood before service providers can differentiate their cloud billing strategies. To determine whether their billing provisions align with customer expectations, it's critical for cloud providers to know what customers expect from their cloud service invoices and how competitors handle billing of cloud services.

Customers are demanding cloud providers give them a single bill accounting for all cloud services and meet the critical requirements of their service-level agreements. Enterprises claim they want to make sure their business requirements are integrated with existing business processes in the cloud. Therefore, the expectation is that the cloud services they purchase must include all charges upfront so that providers can offer customers a price guarantee.

This is where the importance of cloud standards comes into play; standards ensure that enterprises and providers are speaking the same language and that there are no surprises on either side. If the billing practices are consistent across the industry and all parties are clear about their expectations, service providers can attract more customers -- and enterprises will have one less obstacle to cloud adoption.

This was first published in September 2012

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