Cloud Computing: Contracting and Compliance Issues for In-House Counsel

Shahab Ahmed, Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, USA

Many organizations across the world are adopting Cloud based services, to reduce information technology (“IT”) costs and to meet rapidly growing business demands. Organizations now have to think about purchasing IT as a service, instead of making the traditional hardware and software purchase decisions. This fundamental paradigm shift is not only challenging for procurement professionals, it also presenting new challenges for the in-house counsel, who are often involved in negotiating large Cloud services agreements. Cloud services contracts are different compared to the traditional IT outsourcing agreements, since a Cloud service is designed as a multi-tenet service, where computing and operating resources are shared across potentially millions of customers – making the scale and consistency extremely important to the viability of the Cloud business model. This paper will examine recent trends and well as areas of significance in a Cloud services agreement such as Defined Terms, Service Level Agreements, Data Privacy and Security, Regulatory Compliance as well as traditional agreement aspects such Audit Rights.

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USA Cloud Computing IT May 2013 Vol. 6, No. 23, Spring 2013

Shahab Ahmed

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Shahab Ahmed in his role as a Director – Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Corporation, focuses on global regulatory and commercial issues such as Data Protection, Privacy, Security, Interoperability, Standards and other ICT regulatory frameworks. Prior to this role, Mr. Ahmed was a Director in Antitrust and Interoperability group at Microsoft where he worked on competition policy. Mr. Ahmed has held a variety of Legal, business and technical leadership roles at Microsoft since 2005. Before joining Microsoft, he held leadership roles at Fortune 500 organizations including IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Target Corporation and United Healthcare Group. Mr. Ahmed has a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, a MBA in strategic Management and a JD degree. He has also done post doctorate technology policy work at Harvard University and holds a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) designation.

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USA Cloud Computing IT May 2013 Vol. 6, No. 23, Spring 2013
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