There's a lot of buzz about cloud computing. However, what it means to you or your client's businesses may not be what it means to others. If your business is moving, as many businesses are, into using cloud computing to run business critical applications and host business sensitive data, you will be negotiating and/or drafting a contract to address numerous cloud computing legal, business, and technology issues. Although the parties may not title the agreement "Cloud Computing Contract," how the parties to these contracts define "cloud computing" deliverables in the context of a specific transaction will impact the risk allocations and liabilities of the parties.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and several court decisions have recently proffered various definitions of cloud computing. As these definitions show, they (like cloud computing concepts) are evolving. This article examines some of the broad outlines of those definitions.