Cloud doubters often raise compliance requirements as a barrier to cloud adoption, but in fact cloud providers have many tools to ease compliance with regulations and industry standards. They can help you maintain compliance with the least amount of resources.
There are cloud systems for PCI compliance (for credit card processing), HIPAA compliance (for health care information security and portability), and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance (for process logging at publicly traded companies), as well as systems to handle similar European regulations.
Compliance should be managed as a set of rules and regulations that change over time, not as adherence at a specific in time for a specific regulation. And the cloud is great at managing items that change.