Focus on Cloud Contracting and Procurement at EDUCAUSE 2016
At the EDUCAUSE conference this week, I'll be participating in two sessions focused on discussing best practices for selecting and implementing enterprise cloud services, with a particular emphasis on contract, negotiation, and procurement topics.
On Tuesday afternoon, Alan Fishel, Sean O'Brien, and I are leading a preconference session "Cloud 101: Tools and Strategies for Evaluating Cloud Services," which is a revised and updated version of similar workshops at EDUCAUSE 2015 and the Internet2 Global Summit earlier this year. Based on feedback from those events, we’ve revised and updated the content to provide an overview of developing an institutional cloud strategy, an in depth discussion of the various considerations for assessing enterprise cloud services (features/functionality, technical requirements, security, accessibility, compliance, support, and others), and contracting.
Wednesday morning Alan, Jerry Grochow, and I are participating in a panel discussion on cloud contracting, negotiation, and procurement considerations, "Cloud Contracts: Reading, Writing, and Interpreting to Unravel the Mystery." We will discuss the issues that make cloud services contracts different from other IT service contracts, provide examples from actual cloud services contracts and most importantly plan on providing the attendees a chance to ask questions and discuss the issues that have come up on their campuses.
Many universities have been grappling with the challenge of legacy approaches of writing and issuing RFPs, analyze responses, selecting winners, negotiating contracts, and finally implement services in a technology landscape increasingly defined by cloud services. The 18+ month legacy approach is increasingly under strain because of the rapid evolution and change associated with technology services. Jerry will outline strategies the procurement community has developed in order to streamline the process, as well as some of the ways the Internet2 NET+ program was developed to meet their expectations.
Alan will be engaging the audience in a close reading and discussion of some sample contract language of key areas in cloud service agreements including provisions related to data handling, privacy, security breaches, service levels and credits, and termination. Overall, we plan on emphasizing the legal agreements and contract terms and conditions because, as we’ve pointed out at prior workshops, in the current technology landscape emphasizing cloud services, "contract is king," since you don’t own the hardware or the software, all you own is the contract.
I look forward to connecting with EDUCAUSE attendees this week and discussing how their campuses can engage more with community members and colleagues deploying cloud services. You can find me on Twitter @andrewpk, follow @Internet2 all week and see all of the Internet2 community sessions at EDUCAUSE.