re: Cerner Hosting Outage Raises Doctor, Hospital Concerns
I've read a lot of service contracts, and I've noticed that unless you go over them very carefully - both for general content and legalese, you may well not notice that vendors of 'cloud' and data services of various types have all sorts of 'outs' clauses hidden away. These tend to be one way - if the client blows it, heavy penalties. If the vendor blows it, OOPS! So Sorry!
My point is simple; these contracts generally are written by and favor the vendor. If you want there to be good penalty clauses, YOU and your attorney need to make sure they are included. High on the list of issues invoking penalties are outages.
I bank I once worked for had a data service used by at least 20,000 people. The contract called for the vendor to add a second site with separate comms and full, instant switchover capability. They never got around to it, but no one went after the vendor. One day, during a blackout, things were going OK - the huge data center on backup power, when a security guard heard an alarm going off, and he JUST HAD TO SILENCE IT. So he went, found the big red button marked Don't Touch Except In Case Of Emergency, and hit it! The alarms went silent, as did every other piece of equipment on the site, as the backup power shut down. Took the vendor over a week to clean up the mess and get fully back into service.