Advice on cloud computing / SaaS

Cloud computing is the overall term for making software services and data available on demand through the internet. One of the well-known forms of cloud computing is Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud computing comes with a host of advantages. On the other side of the coin, it also poses risks, particularly legal risks. Legal ICT is happy to help your organisation mitigate these risks.

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Legal support from Legal ICT with cloud computing / SaaS

More and more organisations are using software services. IT systems are increasingly playing a powerful and sometimes even business-critical role. Therefore, both the cloud service providers and cloud service customers need to consider this carefully and make proper agreements. Because what happens if the provider terminates the service? Do the data actually belong to the user? Can that data be stored in the US? And what compensation can be claimed if the service is unavailable for one day?

The legal advisors of Legal ICT can support your organisation in drawing up all kinds of documents and provide guidance on a range of outsourcing and migration projects.

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Points to consider with cloud services

Cloud services offer several advantages over traditional on-premise solutions. Ease of use, cost aspects and the flexibility to upscale and downscale these services are key reasons why many organisations implement them. However, both the buyer and the provider need to consider a number of specific risks, including:

  1. Availability

The customer of a cloud service has little control over its availability. Therefore, contractual agreements need to be made to safeguard availability; this is done in the SaaS agreement. 

For example, in most cases it’s advisable to have in place an exit arrangement. This document sets out what happens to the cloud service and the customer’s data when the parties part ways. It this data is essential to the customer, a continuity arrangement needs to be made for the eventuality that the SaaS provider goes bankrupt. And even if you part ways on bad terms, various methods are available for resolving disputes.

  1. Integrity

Both the provider and the customer of a cloud service can make mistakes that jeopardise the integrity of the stored data. If data is lost, this can have far-reaching consequences. Clear agreements with regard to backups, access to and ownership of the data – What is the customer allowed to do with data stored in the cloud? How can the data be exported? – and the quality of the service can help to safeguard data integrity. These agreements are usually laid down in a service level agreement (SLA).

  1. Confidentiality

If (business) sensitive information is stored through a cloud service, it is important to control the access to this information. It is therefore essential that the service is properly secured. Furthermore, both the customer and provider of a cloud service need to consider the privacy laws and regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as almost every cloud service involves storing or processing personal data.

In addition to the above-mentioned general points, each sector may have specific risks that need to be considered, due to laws and regulations or other reasons. Examples include the use of cloud solutions in healthcare or government. The legal advisors of Legal ICT each have their own specialisation and can support your organisation in different subfields.

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