Gartner Wrote It (About the Cloud), But Here is a Software Attorney’s Take.
Gartner wrote this interesting piece recently called the “Rights and Responsibilities for Consumers of Cloud Computing Services” and published it in the Cloudbook. It is worth a read, and I also have added some of my insights on how and where to address the issues (what should be in the cloud agreement/cloud contract and what is more of a policy statement/communication issue).
1) Retain Ownership of Data. This is covered ground, and nothing new to most people. I think all cloud agreements should address this issue as clearly as possible, so everyone knows who owns what, and how and when data can be returned to the customer. Oh yea, there is already litigation on this issue, so this is an important issue! Recent Case (see page 4). (Address in Cloud Agreement)
2) Service Level Agreement. This one too is nothing new, as service level agreements have been around forever. I think the SLA should be in the cloud agreement, and not left to a policy statement. (Address in Cloud Agreement)
3) Notification of Changes to the Service. This is a great idea, and cloud vendors really should communicate about (but let’s add material or significant) change to their service (i.e. ones that would impact their customer or that they would want/should know about). I think the key here is for the vendor to be as transparent as possible, so there aren’t any missed expectations…