5 Cloud Contract Traps To Avoid - InformationWeek

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1/27/2015
08:06 AM
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
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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.
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 Audit you glad you didn't fall for propaganda? Forget cloud providers' fluff talk boasting their compliance with the regulatory scheme du jour. The first question any cloud solution shopper -- especially one working in a highly regulated industry -- should ask a provider is: 'How long ago was your last independent audit against the latest [relevant] regulatory protocols?'
If the answer is 'Never,' ixnay that provider.
Even for cloud customers that don't operate within a highly regulated sector, it might be a plus to know that a selected provider can pass a stringent regulatory audit.

(Image: Lending Memo)

Audit you glad you didn't fall for propaganda?
Forget cloud providers' fluff talk boasting their compliance with the regulatory scheme du jour. The first question any cloud solution shopper -- especially one working in a highly regulated industry -- should ask a provider is: "How long ago was your last independent audit against the latest [relevant] regulatory protocols?"

If the answer is "Never," ixnay that provider.

Even for cloud customers that don't operate within a highly regulated sector, it might be a plus to know that a selected provider can pass a stringent regulatory audit.

(Image: Lending Memo)

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anon5401724375
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anon5401724375,
User Rank: Strategist
2/5/2016 | 11:26:35 AM
Re: Make sure you can export all your data
Great points - couple of more to consider based on our experience

How easy it is to transition out of a cloud based platform when you decide to switch to another vendor?

What happens to your data?

How easy is it to retrieve your data?

Something else to consider - better contract management software. Most cloud contracts are set to auto renew. It is extremely important to ensure that contracts are managed in a consistent manner. Autorenewals are huge budget drains especially if you are not using the platform. Renewals should be carefully monitored and addressed. We use ConvergePoint Contract Management Software to do this. It has been very effective for us. 
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?
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2015 | 6:57:28 PM
Awesome
These tips are tremendous resources.  Thanks for writing them.
anon0288352848
100%
0%
anon0288352848,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/28/2015 | 9:06:18 AM
Make sure you can export all your data
If the cloud platform uses algorithms or data structures not under control of the customer, it's vital to make sure you can export what matters to you in a format you can use outside that platform.  If you don't define and test methods for exporting your content, you could face big issues should you cease using this cloud provider for any reason.

 
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