What Cloud Consumers Need To Look Out For In Cloud Contracts

What Cloud Consumers Need To Look Out For In Cloud Contracts

Many people think cloud computing contracts look out for service providers alone. There are different factors that fuel this attitude. Even then, many consumers still feel like they have no choice. Providers tell them what they can and cannot get. This development is negative for the industry. However, if you want to be a consumer for cloud products, the future is looking bright. With more providers on the market, competition will force some of these dominating companies to think twice. In the meantime, you need to look out for yourself when working on cloud computing contracts with amicable providers.

Ownership of data

Privacy is a critical topic in the cloud. You need to make sure that you still own all content and materials stored in the cloud. The contract needs to clearly assert you as owner for the data stored on another company’s servers. This includes all ownership rights—direct, indirect, and intellectual. This will not only protect you from all the dangers that cover infringements, but it will also serve as evidence in a court of law, were this be necessary. Negotiating a language that guarantees express ownership is the best approach to the contract.

Data disposition

It’s critical that your contract has a clear clause on what happens when you go separate ways. This means that your company avoids a lock-in when the contract ends. There are different approaches to make the provider agree to this. One is for you to get access to your information on an ongoing basis. This way you would have access to the data when the contract ends, but you can also make contingency plans for temporary, emergency, and critical access to data stored on their servers.

Data breaches

Hacking and other breaches are common in the cloud. They happen once in a while, depending on who your provider is. Sometimes, breaches can happen via your root. On many occasions, breaches happen through company’s internal systems. When breaches happen, who is responsible? Naturally, the contract should have a clear direction covering the service provider and consumer duties and responsibilities. It should also state clearly what are the consequences for breaching the terms of the contract.

Legal requests to access data

The cloud contract should also stipulate what happens in the event of a request for data stored from a court of law or government body. Because ownership is entirely in the consumer’s hands, one needs to ensure the right for full disclosure is provided, to stem arbitrary checks and privacy infringements.


Many people wrongly assume that the cloud has no relation whatsoever with physical data centers and infrastructure. Consumers need to know what level of security is awarded to their data, so make sure security measures are clear when you sign the contract.

By Gregory Musungu

About Gregory

Gregory is a writer from Kenya whose education background is Biotechnology, New Media and Accounting. When his intense passion for the tech sphere is not sending him to experiment with new gadgets and technology, you can find him creatively engaged in Nairobi’s thriving underground art scene, copywriting and design.