The Marsh-led group, the Cloud Risk Forum say that adoption of cloud computing could be hampered by organisations failing to understand the associated risks, writes Linda Endersby.
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"Moving information technology (IT) services to the cloud presents a conundrum to many businesses," said Fredrik Motzfeldt, leader of Marsh's Communications, Media and Technology Practice (EMEA).
"Although it promises greater financial efficiency and productivity, the cloud brings an increased dependence upon technology infrastructures housed outside an organisation's immediate control."
To enable companies to appreciate the risks involved the group have launched The Cloud Risk Framework detailing a five-stage process to evaluate both the risks and potential financial impact of migrating to the cloud.
• Identifying key categories of risk for IT services clients;
• Categorising potential types of loss and costs typically linked to IT service failure;
• Quantifying areas of financial impact;
• Allocating the cost of a risk event between the customer and cloud provider;
• Determining the likelihood of a risk event occurring.
Motzfeldt added: "The Cloud Risk Framework provides for the first time a simplified output regarding risk costs to help businesses navigate the complex issues surrounding cloud use decisions, including security challenges and regulation. With this objective analysis, they can then avoid some of the more subjective and emotional factors that might otherwise affect their judgment."
The framework, which adapts to individual organisations needs is the outcome of a year-long collaboration by the Forum which is a mix of legal, insurance, risk and technology experts from across the globe.
Motzfeldt concluded: "The ability to adopt cloud computing models that reduce complexity should bring competitive advantages. A structured and simplified approach to assessing the risks of moving to the cloud, as evidenced by the Cloud Risk Framework, is a vital first step to achieving this goal."