In recent years, cloud computing has evolved and transformed into a service offering that is flexible and scalable. Traditional approaches to cloud contract terms have also undergone numerous changes. While there is more negotiation to such contracts, it is very important for organizations to understand what they are signing before they scribble on the dotted lines.
Fierce data protection often sits at the top of the cloud consideration list. Remote access and storing customer data is of immense importance. But does the contract include everything to help meet and even advance your business goals? Too many customers get burned on their way to successfully implementing cloud computing solutions.
With careful reading of the fine print and asking a few questions, you can be sure the most critical issues and concerns surrounding configuration, implementation, availability, and acceptance are appropriately noted and the agreement is equally applicable to for the provider and for your company.
Here are three questions to ask before signing on the dotted lines:
1. Where is your data actually located?
Be aware of the type of data you are storing in the cloud. If location knowledge is important, negotiate with your cloud provider to tell you the exact location of the data center.
2. Does availability extend to your data?
Do your homework. Instead of assuming your data is protected in the cloud, be certain of what you are getting into. Always make backups and replicate copies to another cloud or a disaster recovery appliance.
3. What happens to your data after service termination?
Understand the grounds of service termination. Lack of payment is just one of several. Negotiate time to have data returned to you if termination is the outcome. Be sure to take a backup on another service just in case.