Dialogs necessary for evolving cloud regulations

Two-way conversation between regulators and cloud computing stakeholders is needed so that regulations for cloud security do not become restrictive, say Savvis executives.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor on

SINGAPORE--Dialogs between regulators and cloud computing stakeholders are necessary to ensure that regulations evolve with technology and do not become restrictive, said Savvis executives.

Speaking at a media lunch Tuesday, Jim Ousley, Savvis chairman and CEO, said companies are now open to cloud as an option when upgrading their systems. Their concerns currently lie with how to satisfy internal and governmental security requirements, he noted.

Government regulations also need to evolve with new technologies and can be achieved through two-way conversation between the regulators and other stakeholders, said Mark Smith, Asia-Pacific managing director at Savvis.

In a follow-up phone interview, Ousley pointed to restrictions on the types of incoming and outgoing data as one of the major regulations that needs to evolve with cloud computing.

He added: "Without dialog, [regulations] can become restrictive, and [regulators] don't realize how restrictive they can be."

At the luncheon, Ousley pointed to the U.S. authorities' plans to set regulations in place around the proximity service--such as how fast stock can be transacted--following a stock market flash crash a few months ago.

"Some of the basic things that came out of the initial rulings...were just bizarre and would take financial trading [back] to the dark ages," he said.

"That's just not going to happen, so there's a lot of discussion that has to take place around what might seem to be a simple thing--like having certain safeguards around transactions--[which could actually] get complicated," he said.

Singapore govt open to dialog
Smith, who was also at the luncheon, said the company had been in talks with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore(IDA) earlier that day.

The discussion reflects the company's view that there is a "need [for] dialog between regulators, stakeholders and IT customers around how to evolve regulations such that they make sense given these new technologies", he said.

"The dialog hasn't started properly yet, especially with the financial regulators. But the impression I have from [the talks] is that it is going to evolve," he added.

Ousley noted in the phone call to ZDNet Asia that the Singapore government is very open and encourages dialog, which he finds to be "very positive".

Savvis to expand Asia-Pacific footprint
While the United States will still be a major market for the managed IT services company, Ousley revealed that Savvis will expand in Asia-Pacific and Europe where outsourcing is not as prevalent as in the U.S.

Asia-Pacific will be the fastest growth area for the company over the next few years, said Ousley. Savvis is also eying China and India, where it will be partnering local companies to enter the markets, he added.

The CEO said the company's push into Asia is driven mostly by its multinational company customers in the U.S. which have operations in the region, rather than a wish to acquire new local accounts.

In addition to the company's data centers in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, Smith said Savvis will be increasing the number of data centers in other parts of the region over 2011. This will be in locations such as Sydney, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Seoul, Shanghai, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Editorial standards