posted 30 Jun 2011
The cloud is creating a greater sense of capability and collaboration, which could result in contractual and operational ambiguity, according to research by the Cloud Industry Forum.
Published in the third of a series of white papers scoping cloud adoption attitudes and trends, the findings point to a transformation in the way that IT services are procured. It shows that end users seek comfort, reliability, control, integration and security of hosted services.
The research also demonstrates how fragmented the contracting of IT services can be for end users and the IT channel. Key findings include:
Fifty-two per cent of end user organisations currently using cloud say that they have negotiated the legal terms of their contract with the cloud service provider;
Thirty-two per cent of respondents have had changes to their contract posted in a new version online by their cloud service provider;
Forty-six per cent of end user contracts are renewed automatically – this becomes greater for smaller organisations. The larger the organisation (or if it is in the public sector) the greater the chance they are reviewed;
End users are looking for greater assurances in their contracts with cloud service providers, compared with traditional service level agreements; and
Almost three quarters of cloud users are satisfied that their contracts with cloud service providers do not allow their provider to take ownership of their data or intellectual property.
“In traditional markets there is often a practical path to establish relationships between parties such as a physical point of presence for the business supplying
the goods or services, a track record or personal relationship to add trust between the the parties and clarity of who is in charge and what can be delivered,” says Andy Burton, chair of the Cloud Industry Forum and CEO of Rise.
“Our research shows that end users are seeking comfort on reliability, control, integration and security of hosted seervices as they expand their IT infrastructure from on-premise to encompass online.”
The Cloud Industry Forum has recommended that end users always assume and maintain ultimate responsibility for any decisions they make either on site or in terms adopting cloud services. Good governance, it says, requires them to be clear on their choice, their back-up plan and their insurance cover.