Cloud Storage Accrediting Body

The past months have seen an alarming increase in the number of online or ‘cloud’ backup service providers. There has also been an increase in the number of reported cases of data loss from companies offering such services. Is this purely coincidence? Is it because the more people that backing their data up through online services? Or is it because more and more poor quality solutions are becoming available on the market, offering data backups to their customers however have little or no intentions of ever delivering on these promises.

The advent of the ‘cloud’, and especially services such as Amazons S3 storage solution, which gives users a scalable online storage solution, offering a ‘pay as you store’ pricing structure. This lowers the barriers to entry for software developers looking to get involved in the online storage market. In many respects this is a good thing for the consumer, because the extra competition can drive pricing, and increase levels of service and support as suppliers look to keep / gain competitive advantages over their rivals.
However this increase in competition can also have a negative impact on the consumers, especially in an unregulated open market such as the online or ‘cloud’ backup market. With no watch-dog, governing body or minimum standards required to enter the market place, consumers simply have to rely on the good word or sales techniques of these companies. Placing this blind faith in companies is and always will be risky for any business or home user. Especially for the business user who’s data may very well be critical to the survival of their company.

The introduction of a watch-dog or governing body could not only help the consumers by exposing the ‘cowboys’ or unreliable services, but this would also benefit the reputable companies within the industry, as it would potentially stop these poor quality companies selling, what they claim to be, the same service at a much reduced rate.

Introducing such a body may also help the advancement and growth of the online backup industry as a whole, as they could run accreditation programs, professional development schemes and general business workshops to enhance the reputation and skill levels within this ever growing market.

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