Fair Principle 5: Contractual terms shall not restrict or discriminate for customer’s choice of cloud provider, outsourcing partner or hardware platform

Fair Principle 5: Contractual terms shall not restrict or discriminate for customer’s choice of cloud provider, outsourcing partner or hardware platform

Fair Principles 05Thursday 28 July 2022

Business users associations Beltug, Voice, Cigref and CIO Platform Nederland call for a balanced cloud market: 11 fair principles to unleash Europe’s digital potential. Fair principle 5 calls for contractual terms to not restrict or discriminate for customer’s choice of cloud provider, outsourcing partner or hardware platform.

Software is the driving force behind open innovation and digital transformation. As a result, each company has become wholly or partly a software company. In the past, every organization had an IT department, now every department has an IT organization. Software has become mainstream. Software can be built or purchased ready-made, software can run on various hardware that may or may not be set up inside or outside the company premises, while those systems can be managed by the company itself or by third parties.

Today business software and cloud services providers are present everywhere and occupy a dominant position. A responsible leadership attitude towards the customer should be applied:

  • Customers having purchased or purchasing software, shall have the possibility to deploy and use the software on the platform of choice or with the cloud provider of choice. The terms and conditions, including commercial conditions, shall be non-discriminating and uniform between running workload in the cloud, on premise or in any hybrid setup with comparable workload and performance. If the technology and workload is comparable and common, the customer shall have freedom of choice.
  • Customers who are moving on premise workload to cloud providers should achieve a cost neutral shift that safeguards the investment on comparable performance and workload. Cloud infrastructure has the same or comparable computing power and has the same limitations as on premise workload, with the sole exception that the underlying hardware is owned by a third party.
  • Customers should not be at the mercy of the vendor for what they can use and should be free to run a service elsewhere. Neither software vendor nor cloud provider should limit or block this freedom of choice.

Business software and cloud services vendors should therefore comply with the fifth principle; contractual terms shall not restrict or discriminate for customer’s choice of cloud provider, outsourcing partner or hardware platform.

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