Cloud Computing, SaaS and why you need a contract

Remember the days when using software meant installing it on your servers, or even further back, inserting a floppy disk into your disk drive?  You may have owned the disk or product, but very soon it would become outdated and need replacing. Cloud computing is the shift away from physical possession of software in favour of a subscription model for the use of it.

SaaS is an acronym for ‘Software as a Service’ but has expanded to the provision of all sorts of services such as Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS), Data and Disaster Recover as a Service (DraaS) and so on.

If you’d like to hear our Director and SaaS expert, Vicky talking about cloud computing, take a listen to our new podcast.

What is SaaS?

You’re probably already using a SaaS platform, or you may have an idea about developing one yourself.  Popular SaaS platforms such as Xero, SalesForce, Microsoft Office 365 mean that you can have access to sophisticated software systems for a monthly fee without the initial financial layout of developing or buying a system.  All you need is a computer and the internet.  This has made starting up and running a business much more achievable.  It also is a boon to entrepreneurs who may have an idea about creating their own SaaS platform.

Why do you need an Agreement?

If you are developing a SaaS platform or are a service provider, you need to ensure that the terms you rely on make your product commercially viable as well as protecting you.

Simple things like these can be included in your terms:

  • Being paid on time and options if you are not (e.g.: charging interest and how much),
  • Managing uptime expectations
  • Limiting risks when downtime happens
  • Using autorenewal clauses

Similarly, as a company subscribing to use such a service, or for the customers who may use your service, issues such as these are important:

  • Uptime (literally the time your platform is available)
  • Response times and; very importantly
  • how the data you input into your system will be stored, used and;
  • What happens to your data when your customer cancels the service?

Sometimes you are not able to negotiate these risks fully (e.g.: in a David and Goliath situation), but you can put some contingency in place to minimise your risk if you know what your risks are.

How can we help?

We are specialists in technology contracts and data protection who understand not only the legal side of things but also the commercial practicalities.  Buying a template might seem like an easy answer, but often contracts such as these can be complex and need specialist support.

This may mean drafting a contract, reviewing your risks and obligations in signing a contract or advising on your data protection obligations. We're here to guide, advise and help you navigate the best way forward for your business as well as providing specialist legal documents.

Learn more about how we can help you with data protection on our blog here.

Book your free consultation with our legal tech specialist here.

Contact Us

Feel free to ask for details, don't save any questions!

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Our Office

Business Hours

  • Monday - Friday - 9am to 5pm

Get in Touch

Ethiqs is committed to providing our clients with accessible, transparent and affordable legal services and this starts all the way from the initial consultation.