5 Cloud Contract Traps To Avoid - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service
News
1/27/2015
08:06 AM
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

5 Cloud Contract Traps To Avoid

A cloud contract is just that, a contract. As such, it carries with it all of the normal pitfalls of a contractual relationship -- and a few specialized ones. Here's how to identify and avoid the risks.
Previous
1 of 7
Next

Going to the cloud makes things easier, right?

Then why is it so complicated?

Cloud computing contracts are often full of traps for the unsuspecting customer -- traps that can compromise data and expose said customer to fines, lawsuits, and other problems.

These traps hurt not just cloud customers but the entire cloud industry. Organizations in highly regulated industries (such as healthcare and finance) are notoriously nephophobic because of the massive legal liabilities they face for data compromises. They fear handing control of their data (let alone encryption keys) to cloud providers -- and often for good reason, unfortunately.

Many cloud providers like to advertise that they are HIPAA-ready, or use other puffery-invoking the names of whatever regulatory scheme their target demographics are subject to, but they might fail to comply with these legal standards for which they boast they are "ready" or "certified." For example, the vast majority of major cloud storage providers are not SEC-compliant. Many providers offering services for some industries have never even been independently audited against those industries' regulations.

[ Where do cloud service level agreements let you down? Read Cloud SLAs: Improvements Still Needed. ]

Worse, not all cloud providers are clear about where and how data is hosted and protected, potentially opening their customers up to all kinds of unknown security and legal risks.

Fortunately, these problems can be easily guarded against using a little knowledge and insistent vigilance. Click through our slideshow for a small sampling of cloud contract pitfalls and how to avoid them. The overall takeaway is this: Cloud customers always should assume Murphy's Law is in play, and negotiate cloud contracts accordingly.

Joe Stanganelli is founder and principal of Beacon Hill Law, a Boston-based general practice law firm. His expertise on legal topics has been sought for several major publications, including US News and World Report and Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine. Joe is also ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Charlie Babcock
50%
50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2015 | 7:46:39 PM
That's good, and I'll raise you five
These are good tips in a legal sense. But we're still falling short of meaningful cloud SLAs if we don't have a way to measure the service that we're getting. What's a virtual CPU in a particular service? How does it compare? What performance level is guaranteed by the provider if I'm on a server with noisy neighbors? Signing up for a big virtual CPU won't do much good if it spins away, waiting for I/Os to occur. Anyone want to come up with five more traps?
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Slideshows
Flash Poll