Cloud Writing Paper

Cloud Writing Paper-23
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I've summarized the results of my ongoing research here in the hope that others will find the information useful.

This article is intended to highlight some key contract issues that are either unique to cloud computing or essential to its effective adoption.

Most transitions to a cloud computing solution entail a change from a technically managed solution ("I build it, I maintain it") to a contractually managed solution ("Someone else is doing this for me; how do I ensure they're doing what they're supposed to? This change necessitates increased IT contract negotiation skills to establish the terms of the relationship ("What do I get?

") and vendor management skills to maintain the relationship ("How do I ensure that I get it? A cloud computing provider's standard contract is typically written to favor that company.

The SLAs must be enforceable and state specific remedies that apply when they are not met.

Aspects of cloud computing services where SLAs may be pertinent include: Exhibit A (page 83) of the City of Los Angeles' Google Apps contract provides a good example of a cloud computing SLA.Some institutions are attracted to cloud computing benefits such as rapid deployment, flexible scalability, and low initial start-up cost, while others are concerned about cloud computing risks such as those related to data location, level of service, and security infrastructure.For institutions that have done due diligence and determined that the benefits of cloud computing outweigh the risks, this article serves as a resource to help mitigate those risks through the contract terms with a cloud services provider."The Evolution of the CIO" notes that the need for CIOs to "negotiate, contract, and work with suppliers has grown significantly and will increase further as institutions move to above-campus sourcing." This is the case with cloud computing.In early 2009, UCLA identified the need to establish its first enterprise-wide software as a service (Saa S) contract, for virtual classroom/meeting services.Since UCLA did not have a designated cloud computing contract expert at that time, responsibility for these efforts and negotiating the Saa S contract fell upon me in my role as director of UCLA Software Licensing.Gartner recommends that an institution considering cloud computing "understand the detailed terms and conditions ...and the risks of signing the service provider's standard contract" before moving to a cloud computing solution.Exhibit A includes the following definitions: means total number of minutes in a calendar month minus the number of minutes of Downtime suffered from all Downtime Periods in a calendar month, divided by the total number of minutes in a calendar month.means those times where Google notified Customer of periods of Downtime at least five days prior to the commencement of such Downtime.Most of these issues don't have simple right or wrong answers, but must be evaluated based on your institution's needs and tolerance for risk.Examples of actual contract clauses in this article suggest ways of contractually addressing these issues.


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