Cloud Industry Forum establishes Sub Group on Legal Issues

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The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), designed to promote trust, security and transparency within the sector, has launched a group specifically to focus on the legal issues associated with cloud computing.

The new group – chaired by Conor Ward, Partner, Hogan Lovells, has been created to provide clarity on the cloud computing legal issues and thereby working towards providing a conducive legal framework in support of the work of the Cloud Industry Forum.

Andy Burton, Chair of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts, stated: “The irony surrounding the coming-of-age of Cloud Services is that it is not, as so many often comment, the advent of new technology that is so compelling and valuable to the market; rather, it is the agility, scalability and almost utility basis of supply that is transforming IT procurement and challenging the way IT is purchased, provisioned and maintained. Cloud, by nature, is creating a greater sense of capability and collaboration, which can, if not checked, drive contractual and operational ambiguity. This is further exaggerated by the diversity introduced in the supply chain that cloud enables from self service, to partner led via Systems Integrators, Technical VARs and Managed Service Providers through to resale, distribution and brokerage models. Clarity on the services delivered and accountability and responsibility of the parties involved in delivering them is key.”

Conor Ward, Partner, Hogan Lovells, added: “On the face of it, this new computing paradigm presents various legal niceties. However, many of the legal queries to be considered when procuring cloud based services are not necessarily new and have been largely tackled in the world of outsourcing. The flexibility offered by cloud computing does, however, put greater emphasis on some legal topics in particular than may have previously been the case. This is why we have established this sub group.”

The Legal sub group itself will focus on all aspects of cloud computing law, working to reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt, which act as barriers to the adoption of cloud computing services. This will include cloud service types, data protection issues, software licensing in the cloud, service definitions and levels, liability, procurement, applicable law, customer data and the future of cloud law encompassing both the UK and the EU.

Founder members include: Hogan Lovells, Arthur Cox, Bird & Bird, DMH Stallard, Eversheds, Latham & Watkins LLP, Palmer Biggs Legal, and Wragge & Co.