For many companies, switching from an on-premise software solution to a Cloud solution seems like a no brainer. But before switching, a company needs to fully understand some of the risks inherent with a Cloud solution.

Storing your data in the Cloud means trusting a third party to look after it; which means you lose some control over your data.  An important question to ask is what level of control you are giving up and what control you maintain when switching to the Cloud.  Storing your files on-site means you control the privacy, security and access to those files at all times.  Storing your files in the Cloud lessens privacy and security due to increases in hacking, spyware, etc. and can inhibit access to your files if your provider goes down or is comprised.

 Make sure that your contract with your provider details exactly who can and cannot access your files.  For instance, can third parties access your files?  Can independent contractors access your files?  If so, are the bound by confidentiality obligations? Know how securely your files are being protected and your recourse if your security is breached.

You also need to understand and detail what happens if you are unable to access your files.  Ideally a provider should have clear contractual obligations to address any such issues.  Finally, make sure you detail what will happen to all of your files if you wish to change providers or if your current provider goes out of business.  Will the security of your files be compromised?  Will your files be adequately wiped from the previous system? Will there be a charge to transition your data to the new provider.

Most of these questions can be answered by carefully reviewing the contract that governs the relationship you will have with the provider.  If the questions are not answered or they are not addressed, hiring experienced legal counsel to modify the contract to address your issues and concerns makes sense. The Chicago-based technology and software attorneys at Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC are ready to help you with your cloud options.