Cloud Computing

Navigating Cloud Computing Contracts

New to cloud computing? Want a better understanding of how to understand cloud computing contracts? This series of seven presentations covers key aspects of cloud computing arrangements to help you understand what to look for in your cloud computing agreement.

Module 1: Understanding the services and delivery models

In this module, I provide an overview of the different types of cloud computing services — Infrastructures as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) — and the different delivery models – public cloud, hybrid cloud and private cloud. Using examples drawn from cloud computing agreements, I also describe the important concept of the share responsibility model.

Module 2: Changes to the services and priority of terms

As users of cloud services quickly realize, cloud service providers change the services and the terms of services frequently. In this module, I examine common change provisions from the different cloud provider contracts. I explain what they mean and how they may disrupt your business. In addition, I examine priority of terms provisions and their implications on your contractual rights.

Module 3: Security Commitments

In this module, I review real examples of security commitments in cloud service provider agreements to examine how the responsibility for security is shared between the cloud service provider and the customer. I also discuss how cloud service agreements address subcontractors/subprocessors and audit rights.

Module 4: Data Ownership, Privacy and Confidentiality

This module discusses the important topics of data ownership, privacy and confidentiality in cloud services arrangements. I illustrate how cloud computing service providers handle these issues using real contractual provisions. I examine what to look for in a security breach provision and compare what cloud service providers offer to a customer’s legal breach reporting and notification obligation.

Module 5: Indemnities for intellectual property and other harms

Indemnification provisions allocate risks relating to the potential for third-party claims. In this module, I review the key concepts in intellectual property indemnities, including the thorny issue of combination claims. I also compare the scope of the indemnities that cloud service providers want from their customers to those that they ware willing to give.

Module 6: Warranties, service level agreements, and disclaimers

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Module 7: Limitations of liability

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