Comprehending a Cloud Service Agreement (CSA) can be difficult. With the increasing clout of hyperscalers, buyers need to fully understand a CSA to effectively negotiate with cloud service providers. Learn how to better evaluate these contracts in this blog.
With the increased adoption of cloud services, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure have come to dominate the public cloud space in recent years. The negotiating power of these hyperscalers has significantly increased, changing the dynamics of the CSA.
As the influence of cloud providers grows, customers need to carefully evaluate the proper terms and conditions in the CSA. First, let’s better understand the key terms:
- Cloud service agreement (CSA) – a service level agreement (SLA) for cloud computing services between the cloud service consumer and cloud service provider
- Cloud service consumer – an individual or a corporate enterprise end user accessing cloud computing resources and services from the cloud service provider
- Cloud service provider (CSP) – third-party suppliers of cloud-based platforms, infrastructure, application, or storage services
- Customer agreement – the relationship between the provider and the customer, including roles, responsibilities, and processes used by the CSP
The contract may be written according to the service delivery model selected, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS). CSPs can modify their contract terms at any given time.
Based on our observations, many customers have difficulty understanding these contracts. With the growing portfolio of cloud services in every organization, understanding the nuances to better negotiate contracts with service providers is crucial.
Below is a practical reference to safeguard customers’ interests.
Ten Steps to Evaluate a Cloud Service Agreement
- Understand the roles and responsibilities properly
- Evaluate business-level policies thoroughly
- Understand service and deployment model differences
- Identify critical performance objectives
- Evaluate security and privacy requirements of the environment
- Identify service management requirements
- Ensure proper backup for service failure management
- Understand the disaster recovery plan
- Ensure an effective governance process
- Evaluate the exit process fully