Tips for Negotiating your Cloud Computing Contract

Tips for Negotiating your Cloud Computing Contract


As with any business agreement, you should consider all the pros and cons when migrating to the cloud. Considering you are giving a third-party access to your corporate data, albeit only through storage, there are a few things you need to be mindful of.

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Warren Olivier, Veeam Regional Manager for Southern Africa, takes a closer look.

1. Read the fine print

As with any contract, you need to read the fine print to get a complete understanding of what you are entitled to.

Things to be considered include who is responsible for the availability of your data? If there is a security breach or if the data is lost or becomes corrupted, what steps can you take to get it back?

2. Valuing your data

Most companies do not understand the value of their data until it is lost or no longer available. And if the data is not properly valued before the cloud contract is signed, how can you expect the cloud provider to pay out millions of rands when there is a problem?

If the provider is not willing to negotiate on the value of your data, then it is probably better to search for an alternative one.

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And if they refuse to accept liability for any data loss, then you should evaluate whether you want to take responsibility for all the risk yourself.

3. Sharing resources

Part of what makes the cloud great is the fact that server resources are shared between multiple customers. However, you need to carefully evaluate how such an arrangement impacts on your own compliancy requirements.

Does such a service provider align with the always-on requirements of your own organisation or are sacrifices made to be more efficient?

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4. Legislative requirements

South Africa does not have a regulatory standards board when it comes to the cloud. This means you have to take responsibility for understanding the legal ramifications of going the cloud route yourself.

Local businesses are under pressure when it comes to things like the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popi) and other regulatory requirements.

5. Understanding the local market

Working with a cloud provider who understands local conditions cannot be rated highly enough.

Using someone who can bridge the gap between always-on requirements of the connected business and the ability of technology to effectively deliver availability, means you will have the peace of mind required to embrace the cloud.

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