Paul Timms, managing director at IT consultancy MCSA Group, says the issue here is not so much the 11 minutes, but the fact that it's a global average. Therefore a provider like Azure that has around 34 regions could have a big outage in one region, and 100% uptime in another.

"In general, it's likely that you will see some outage in a three-year contract and it might be one minute or it could be one day," he says. "The issue for many of our enterprise customers comes when they are transforming their IT to a cloud model. Public cloud providers aren't the most obvious choice for critical systems where visibility, especially during an issue, is key."

Options for monitoring

There will be many options for monitoring a cloud. According to James Smith, head of architecture and innovation at Cloud Technology Solutions, which ones are appropriate will depend on the type of cloud service you are using – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).