Microsoft and ISO help customers moving to the cloud with procurement guidance

Today Microsoft is introducing the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist, developed to help customers make better cloud migration decisions. Organizations are becoming increasingly familiar with the benefits of cloud computing, but the process of migrating can be daunting, regardless of the company’s size, industry or sector. Even for companies that are already managing multiple, complex business processes in the cloud, the process of contracting with and managing multiple providers can be challenging and inconsistent.

A Forrester Research study found that the majority of cloud computing agreements are missing key considerations which, if addressed properly during contracting, could lead to improved project delivery, better quality control and increased profitability.

To help address potential omissions, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently issued Cloud Computing Service Level Agreement Framework, also known as ISO/IEC 19086-1. This new international standard is a guidance document for cloud customers to use before establishing agreements with cloud providers, and offers a common set of considerations for organizations to help them make decisions about cloud adoption, as well as create a common ground for comparing cloud service offerings.

To extend the usefulness of 19086-1, and help make the standard more consumable, Microsoft’s Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist makes it easier for organizations to identify their own performance, service, data management and governance objectives and requirements. It also helps cloud customers compare offerings of different cloud service providers, ultimately forming the basis for their cloud service agreement.

The use of this checklist is helpful because it:

  • Provides an entry point for the newly published ISO/IEC 19086-1 standard;
  • Enables key internal decision-makers’ involvement in the evaluation process, which increases consistency and efficiency and helps base decisions grounded in sound reasoning; and
  • Simplifies the comparison of offerings from different cloud service providers through a set of questions with consistent terms and definitions for each provider.

Today’s news is important for all organizations evaluating cloud services. It is part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to helping our customers move to the cloud, and protecting them as they move there.

To learn more, please visit the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist page and the ISO/IEC 19086-1 page within the Microsoft Trust Center.