Cloudy with a Chance of Success: Contracting for the Cloud in Government
With the movement of government activities to leverage cloud computing, government agencies are now increasingly writing and negotiating contracts with cloud service providers. While agencies have been writing and negotiating contracts for many years, contracts for cloud services present a special set of challenges. In this important report, Shannon Tufts and Meredith Weiss present a detailed analysis of 12 major issues that need to be addressed in all cloud contracts. In addition to traditional issues such as pricing, cloud computing contracts require that a variety of data assurance issues be addressed, including data ownership, access to data, disposition of data, data breaches, and data storage location.
This report is based on a detailed analysis of five public sector contracts in North Carolina for cloud services. The five case studies included a local government, a state agency, a higher education institution, a local public health organization, and a K-12 public school system. Based on these case studies, the authors developed a series of recommendations for government organizations to guide them in the writing and negotiating of contracts for cloud services.
With the publication of this report, the IBM Center for The Business of Government continues its ongoing interest in cloud computing. In 2012, the IBM Center published Mitigating Risks in the Application of Cloud Computing in Law Enforcement by Paul Wormeli. That report addressed the concerns about cloud computing in the law enforcement community. Many of the concerns discussed in the Wormeli report are also addressed in this new report. In 2009, the IBM Center published Moving to the Cloud: An Introduction to Cloud Computing in Government by David C. Wyld. That report addressed 10 major challenges facing government in implementing cloud computing. These three reports serve as major resources for government managers as they increasingly move more activities to the cloud.