Small to medium-sized businesses stand to especially benefit from cloud computing as the new technology further permeates the marketplace, experts say, while larger corporations must ensure their cloud operations stay compliant with local and international data sharing laws.
"Small businesses in particular have access to all sorts of facilities through computing functionality they have never been able to afford before - data centres, support staff and maintenance - when delivered out of the cloud they are available to anybody," John Manley, a director of automated infrastructure at HP, told the Guardian.
Since information held in the cloud could potentially be accessed by anyone holding the necessary information or steps to access it remotely, data security has become a primary concern both for those adopting and developing the service.
Manley said service providers have been trying to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, appealing to certain sensibilities of those looking to improve their IT efficiency.
"They will want to differentiate themselves - some will be cheaper, some faster, some more secure. You have to make that choice based on your requirements, but there will be a lot more detail and legal force in these agreements," he said.
Another legal concern noted by the Guardian included the strict adherence to data sharing legislature, especially when crossing international lines.
"The primary issues are security, access and location. Data protection laws are very strong in the EU but less evolved in the US, and you can't ship data outside the EU without jumping through regulatory hoops," said Graham Hann, partner at the Taylor Wessing law firm.
"So if a head office in New York accesses the HR records in London, for example, you could be contravening the European Data Protection Act."
Written by Jason Morton