16 Apr Going Public in the Cloud with Compliance Solutions Hosting
While cloud offers significant time and cost savings, there are key questions to ask about cloud compliance solutions for IPOs and existing publicly traded companies.
If you have decided to go public you know that technology is going to be a key factor to ensure a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) and to meet forecasting goals post IPO. Whether you are still on the fence about going public or you have already begun your IPO transaction, you know entry level accounting software and homegrown Excel spreadsheets are no longer powerful enough when you have to maintain compliance solutions and the growing complexity of higher levels of production, investor relations, public relations and marketing.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) with integrated applications can get you where you need to be, but these systems are known for being bulky and slow to deploy. They are also expensive to maintain and implement in a time when all your capital is going into your IPO. Cloud computing offers significant cost savings but security, audit traceability and compliance support in public cloud offerings are not always suited to the needs of a publicly traded organization. However, there are cloud services providers who specialize in cloud for publicly traded companies.
Going public in the cloud requires solutions and support for compliance
With highly publicized public cloud breaches in the past year, cloud security concerns remain a top obstacle that keeps businesses from moving data to the cloud, according to Forrester. However many of these fears are unfounded.
The reality is that a state-of-the art data center with added security and back-stops for compliance can offer much higher levels of security and uptime than an in-house data center can offer.
“Although I don’t see massive data breaches in public clouds, I see businesses use public clouds improperly,” said David Linthicum in a recent article at InfoWorld.com. “The largest threat to security is the lack of qualified cloud developers, engineers, architects, and security experts who understand how to make cloud-based systems secure.”
When you host your business system with a cloud services provider who specializes in security and compliance you can rest assured that experts in security and compliance are monitoring service levels and maintaining compliance backstops so you can avoid violating Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) rules, avoid fraud and comply with various requirements including FDA and HIPAA.
5 Questions to ask about products and services for cloud compliance solutions for publicly traded companies:
- Do the applications provided support in-depth reporting across entities with audit traceability and compliance backstops?
- Are hosting services backed by a comprehensive Service Level Agreement, including up time guarentees, data privacy, security and data ownership policies?
- Does your provider offer SSAE 16 Type II reports? Are Bridge Letters readily available?
- Are internal controls in place within the hosting organization to support your auditors and audit readiness for compliance?
- What are policies around back-up, restore, intrusion detection tests and encryption?