Assessment of Cloud Services


When acquiring cloud related services, cloud service consumers may need to assess their own business need as well as the service offerings and capabilities of cloud service providers.  This is where the cloud service assessment tools become useful.  There are a number of cloud service assessment tools available in the market that target cloud service consumers and/or cloud service providers on their respective needs and service offerings.  These tools are designed with considerations of various relevant aspects of cloud services and are readily adoptable.

 

What are Cloud Service Assessment Tools?

 

Cloud service assessment tools are tools aiming to help cloud service stakeholders to conduct assessments on cloud services based on pre-defined criteria.  In general, using these cloud service assessment tools does not require independent assessment by a trusted third-party.

 

There are different types of cloud service assessment tools for different stakeholders.

 

  • For cloud service consumers, there are self-assessment tools providing quick and simple assessment on operational requirements of a cloud service, in particular infrastructure and service support required by the cloud service consumers.
  • Some cloud service assessment tools provide assessment for both cloud service consumers and cloud service providers, and try to map the consumers' requirement to the providers' offerings.
  • For cloud service providers, there are also self-assessment tools which assess their capabilities and service offerings.  Readers interested in the tools for cloud service providers may read about them here.

 

Benefits of using Cloud Service Assessment Tools

 

  • For cloud service consumers, the assessment tools help them to self-assess whether cloud adoption will meet their business needs.
  • With the published self-assessment results provided by the cloud service providers, consumers can identify and select suitable cloud service providers from the market to suit their need.
  • Some cloud service assessment tools provide assessment for both cloud service consumers and cloud service providers, and thus enabling the mapping of the consumers' requirement to the providers' offerings.

 

Examples of Cloud Service Assessment Tools

 

  • Below are examples of assessment tools for cloud service consumers.
  • Many cloud service assessment tools are based on ISO/IEC 27001, which is a widely recognised international Information Security Management System (ISMS) standard.  This is because when adopting cloud services, security is often the most concerned area for the cloud service consumer.
  • Cloud service assessment tools are usually provided in the form of a questionnaire or on-line survey, which enable consumers to assess their cloud service requirements in different aspects such as operation, performance and other critical capabilities.

 

  Assessment Tools For Organisation Description
1 Cloud Assessment Tool (CAT) Consumer & Provider Asia Cloud Computing Association The aim of Cloud Assessment Tool is to let consumers assess the operational, performance and other critical capabilities offered by cloud providers against their own requirements.  Cloud Assessment Tool's framework consists of a matrix of parameters classified into different levels, including key operational criteria; parameters for the individual criterion; performance levels; and matrices that map operational parameter values to the operational criteria.
2 Cloud Data Protection Cert. Consumer & Provider Cloud Data Protection Cert. Cloud Data Protection Cert. is a web-based self-assessment tool that presents cloud service consumers and cloud service providers with a tiered data sensitivity model.  Through the on-line questionnaires, consumers and service providers can assess the data protection controls in their cloud environments.  The Cloud Data Protection Cert. will report an overall protection score and provide a report for controls guidance.
3 Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT) Consumer Microsoft Corporation Cloud Security Readiness Tool is an on-line survey that assesses a consumer's current IT environment with regard to systems, processes, and productivity.  The output of the survey is a custom non-commercial report that provides recommendations on the consumer's IT state and helps them evaluate the benefits of cloud computing.

 

  • For the self-assessment tools for cloud service providers, readers may read about them here.

 

 

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