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The Top 10 Things to Consider Before You Move to the Cloud.

by on April 9, 2010

Cloiud_businessIf you want to reap the benefits of cloud computing for your organization, you’ll make sure that any business  you conduct with a provider is grounded in a solid legal agreement and not thin air.

Michael P. Bennett, a partner in the intellectual property department at Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon in Chicago recently outlined some issues that should be considered before inking a pact for nimbus services. They included:

  1. Make sure a basic warranty is in the agreement that services will be performed in a good and workmanlike manner
  2. Insure that your data belongs to you and that you can get a copy of it whenever you want it
  3. Bar the provider from suspending or terminating service abruptly
  4. Require the provision of termination assistance at the end of the agreement
  5. Cap fee increases, especially when entering into a long term agreement with a provider
  6. Mandate litigation cooperation from the provider to make sure it will preserve data and comply with discovery requests should you get involved in litigation
  7. Require intellectual property ownership warranties or indemnification to guarantee that the provider has the rights to the services it’s offering
  8. Make sure service warranties extend throughout the length of the contract
  9. Specify backup schedules and disaster recovery arrangements and hold the provider accountable for data losses
  10. Ensure that the provider’s policies are consistent with your policies, as well as policies needed for compliance purposes

“The rise of cloud computing has necessitated the development of new kinds of agreements to protect the legal rights of both vendors and users,” Bennett wrote. “While traditional outsourcing and software licensing agreements can be used as a model, the unique nature of cloud computing means contracts must address several new areas of legal liability and risk.”

“As with any service agreement,” he added, “it is incumbent upon all parties involved to ensure the language used adequately represents their interests and provides them with the protections they require.”

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