When to negotiate direct contracts for public cloud services
It’s rare to negotiate contracts directly with providers of public cloud services — see if there are other options first.
Check first: NZ government agreements and contracts
All-of-government agreements and Marketplace contracts:
- simplify the contractual process
- reduce costs — leveraging the scale of New Zealand’s government organisations as a single customer.
Check if either option meets your organisation’s needs, as they are either:
Check second: the direct contract is acceptable
Some providers of public cloud services do not have incentives to negotiate contracts specifically for individual NZ government departments. If this is the case and the contract is still acceptable to your organisation’s risk tolerance, using the set contract is likely the option to take.
Lacking expertise is not an excuse
Be honest about whether your organisation has the in-house experts needed to properly negotiate contracts. If not, your best options are likely to:
- use optional NZ government agreements and contracts, or
- hire legal assistance to negotiate the direct contract.
When the direct contract is unacceptable without negotiating
If the provider’s contract is not acceptable to your organisation’s risk tolerance, weigh up:
- their openness to negotiate
- if there are alternative services from other providers available — including the public cloud services your organisation has already approved for use.
If the contract’s conditions are not acceptable, do not use the public cloud service from that provider.
Check third: negotiate the direct contract
If the provider is open to negotiating a contract with your organisation, check the terms and conditions of the contract that require more negotiating.
The Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO) provides an example of a clause with the minimum areas that government organisations need to cover when negotiating contracts for public cloud services.