In my last blog, "What's Trust Got to Do with it?" I spoke about the importance of establishing trust with a cloud provider and how transparency is critical for building that trust. In April 2012, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online took a major step towards providing transparency by becoming the first CRM service provider to register with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security, Trust & Assurance Registry program. I'm very excited to announce that today we've gone even further by launching the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center.

The Trust Center is a website that provides in-depth information about the privacy, security, and compliance practices for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service. This is significant for our customers as data protection is a key consideration for organizations evaluating cloud services. Available at http://crm.dynamics.com/trust-center, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center details our service operations, including the steps that Microsoft takes to keep data private and secure, as well as the key industry standards that we comply with.

Gartner Inc. in the research report, "Look Before You Leap Into Cloud Computing," published May 25, 2012, predicts that "by year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud." And adds, "many enterprises are reaping great benefits from cloud computing, primarily in added business agility and cost savings. ...However, as with any significant new form of technology, many eager new customers rush to take advantage of it before all the risks and risk mitigations have been fully explored." 

"Enterprises should ensure that potential cloud service providers are trustworthy in areas of security, privacy and operational characteristics," said Gene Phifer, vice president distinguished analyst, Gartner. "Enterprises should perform due diligence on potential cloud service providers through the use of emerging cloud standards, certifications, cloud services brokers, questionnaires and interviews, and by generally 'doing your homework.' Transparency in a cloud vendor is key and security should be as big of a concern with online deployments as with on-premises deployments."

At Microsoft, protection of customer data is a top priority and we are willing to have an open dialogue to ensure that our customers feel confident. If you are interested in learning more about how Microsoft provides transparency to its customers, I encourage you to visit the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center and download our new whitepaper.

Until next time,

Stephanie Dart

stedart@microsoft.com