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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