During the Mark Zuckerberg Congressional Hearing, Congressman Mr. Morgan Griffith (R) of West Virginia made a statement to Mark Zuckerberg, and I quote, “How about doing something like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) did when electricity was new to determine if devices like that were safe. Have you all thought about doing something like that?” This got me thinking.



When businesses and utilities began to commercialize and run electricity into buildings 120 years ago, it came with some advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage was that you could apply electricity to so many things around the world. The major disadvantage that soon became apparent was that electricity was also dangerous. During that time, society became reliant on UL to protect them from fire, electrocution, and other hazards. UL became the “watchdog” for society and the consumer. For more than 120 years, UL has existed to protect society and the consumer. This is true today with UL Cloud Certification via standard UL 3223.

There are over 7 billion (B) technology users via computers, tablets, and phones. Out of those 7B users, we generate 145B emails a day in which 20% or more have confidential information associated with them. Additionally, society has become very reliant on the cloud and really doesn’t see any of the protection methods cloud companies use to protect their data. The average consumer that uses a mobile phone probably has never heard of Uptime, BICSI, or TIA. But they have heard of UL, which is synonymous for trust and integrity.



Every large cloud provider has outages affecting millions of consumers worldwide. When they have outages two things occur: one, negative market reaction, and two, loss of revenue. Currently, when a large cloud provider designs their data centers, they do take into consideration reliability, sustainability, maintainability, and other safeguards. However, each cloud provider builds under their own rules and standards. There is little governance (other than HIPPA and the financial/government industry) to protect the average consumer from outages or breaches. While the government is limited on the knowledge of technology infrastructure, there are so many brilliant people in the cloud community and it seems that bringing them together as some form of oversight committee may be a better approach than federal legislation. Or better yet, a public/private partnership.  



As cloud affects so many companies and consumers, people look to UL Cloud Certification to enhance the security and reliability of their cloud applications. Cloud company departments such as public relations, risk management, and marketing are the primary focus of UL Cloud Certification. It is through these channels that the advertising of being UL Cloud Certified via UL 3223 creates the greatest value to the consumer. Protection of data, reliability, sustainability, security, and safety are the cornerstone of UL Cloud Certification.



The ROI from UL Cloud Certification through UL 3223 comes from multiple avenues. While the cost of downtime is difficult to calculate, recent public announcements have stated in the press, e.g., CNN Money ran an article titled, “Computer Meltdown cost British Airways over $100M” on May 29, 2017.

In 2016, Poneman Institute did a study for Vertiv in reference to the cost of downtime. On average, the financial industry scored the highest at $974K per outage followed up by eCommerce at $909K per outage. Colocation downtime came in at $849K per occurrence. Be aware that this is in 2016 and I’m sure it’s higher today. Additional published cost of outages can be found for Apple, Google, and others.

Furthermore, product insurance indicates that an insurance premium reduction having the UL label is evident among equipment manufacturers. UL Cloud Certification helps both the insured and insurers understand and clarify the risks they face from data center operations. This enables the insured to seek better premiums, and the insurers to take on more clarified risk in the form of insurance coverage for those certified to UL 3223. The damage of downtime concerning reputation, customer frustration, and the above reasons makes UL Cloud Certification an easy choice.