23rd January 2012
Cloud Industry Forum establishes Sub Group on Cloud Computing Legal Issues
The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), designed to promote trust, security and transparency within the sector, has launched a group specifically to focus on the legal issues associated with cloud computing.
The new group – chaired by Conor Ward, Partner, Hogan Lovells, has been created to provide clarity on the cloud computing legal issues and thereby working towards providing a conducive legal framework in support of the work of the Cloud Industry Forum.
Andy Burton, Chair of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts, stated: “The irony surrounding the coming-of-age of Cloud Services is that it is not, as so many often comment, the advent of new technology that is so compelling and valuable to the market; rather, it is the agility, scalability and almost utility basis of supply that is transforming IT procurement and challenging the way IT is purchased, provisioned and maintained. Cloud, by nature, is creating a greater sense of capability and collaboration, which can, if not checked, drive contractual and operational ambiguity. This is further exaggerated by the diversity introduced in the supply chain that cloud enables from self service, to partner led via Systems Integrators, Technical VARs and Managed Service Providers through to resale, distribution and brokerage models. Clarity on the services delivered and accountability and responsibility of the parties involved in delivering them is key.”
Conor Ward, Partner, Hogan Lovells, added: “On the face of it, this new computing paradigm presents various legal niceties. However, many of the legal queries to be considered when procuring cloud based services are not necessarily new and have been largely tackled in the world of outsourcing. The flexibility offered by cloud computing does, however, put greater emphasis on some legal topics in particular than may have previously been the case. This is why we have established this sub group.”
The Legal sub group itself will focus on all aspects of cloud computing law, working to reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt, which act as barriers to the adoption of cloud computing services. This will include cloud service types, data protection issues, software licensing in the cloud, service definitions and levels, liability, procurement, applicable law, customer data and the future of cloud law encompassing both the UK and the EU.
Founder members include: Hogan Lovells, Arthur Cox, Bird & Bird, DMH Stallard, Eversheds, Latham & Watkins LLP, Palmer Biggs Legal, and Wragge & Co.
Anyone interested in joining the Group should contact Breda O’Shea at Breda@cloudindustryforum.org
About the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF)
The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) was established in direct response to the evolving supply models for the delivery of software and IT services that has expanded well beyond the traditional on-premise method to one that now embraces hosted and/or pay-as-you-use Cloud solutions.
CIF’s purpose is twofold: to drive a common and public level of transparency about the capability, substance and best practices of online Service Providers (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Web hosting providers etc) through a process of self-certification to a Code of Practice. Second, this Code of Practice, and the use of the related Certification Mark on participant’s web sites, provides comfort and promotes trust to businesses and individuals wishing to leverage the commercial, financial and agile operational capabilities that the Cloud based and hosted solutions can offer. CIF is ensuring the integrity and governance of the self-certification process through regular random audits as well as investigating complaints from parties that challenge any specific participant’s self-certification status.
Our ambition is to bring business consumers and suppliers of Cloud and Hosted Services closer together in a trusted, sustainable and rewarding ecosystem.