Consistency, clarity and transparency must lie at the heart of contracting with CSPs

Best Practice Guide to contracting available from the Cloud Industry Forum

A practical guide to contracting cloud services has been launched by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) in response to clear market demand for clarity and advice when procuring from a Cloud Service Provider (CSP).

The White Paper encompasses a range of issues including contracting, liability, data location and ownership, SLAs, insurance and acceptable use policies as well as practical legal advice provided by DMH Stallard.

Andy Burton, Chair of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts, stated: “As with all new markets, there are entrants who are credible, well-intentioned, capable and professional and there are also unfortunately those that are looking to make a quick profit and whose public claims will not pass the test of scrutiny. Coupled with this is the increasing prevalence of online click-through agreements, originally designed to make procurement easier,”

“However, after a decade of on-premise software end-user license agreements and web service agreements, this experience is to some extent, muted in impact as many have adopted the behaviour of just ticking the ‘I Agree’ box and move forward in the process without reading the small print,” he added.

“This raises two critical issues: how do I as a customer tell the difference between a capable or a rogue supplier, and how should I contract for services with a Cloud Service Provider?”

The Forum has addressed the first issue with the launch of its Code of Practice, which is designed to provide a normalised view of all credible CSPs so that end users can take an educated decision. This White Paper is designed to give insight and clarity on how to contract and gain insight into vendor capabilities and commitments.

Research from the Cloud Industry Forum has highlighted a number of key areas of confusion and uncertainty amongst end users and resellers as to the nature of the contractual agreements they have entered into.

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