On the 25th October, the public sector cloud specialist UKCloud was placed into liquidation.
UKCloud, also trading as UKCloud Health and UKCloudX, was a British Cloud provider headquartered in Farnborough, United Kingdom, providing specialist cloud-based services to the UK public sector and private sector organisations.
In an article posted by ComputerWeekly.com, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said the organisation “regularly monitors the health of key suppliers” and has “contingency plans in place to ensure the continuity of public services” However in recent news, it has been stated that the Cabinet Office now warns of serious risk to services as UKCloud customers are hit with sevenfold price increases, resulting in a rush against time to migrate their data.
Organisations which had a software escrow agreement in place securing their data and systems with an independent third party would be in a much stronger position to migrate their systems to another hosting provider in an orderly manner without being held to the massive increase in prices the liquidators are demanding.
The recent news surrounding UKCloud is a similar situation to an article we wrote earlier on in the year. This was regarding the Cloud and datacentre service provider Sungard Availability Services who filed for bankruptcy both in the US and for its Canadian subsidiary, just weeks after its UK division was forced into administration.
As economic uncertainty and insolvency of IT related businesses around the globe continue to fill the news headlines, one must hope that the companies affected have robust business continuity plans in place to ensure their data held with the software/cloud provider is not lost to avoid catastrophic consequences.
What can you do if you are worried about your Software/Cloud vendor going bust?
As a global software escrow vendor, we are experiencing both an increase in companies triggering their software escrow agreements due to a software/cloud provider insolvency and companies wanting to invest in new software escrow agreements to protect themselves from the potential risks of their service provider going bust.
Software escrow agreements are set up to provide comfort to the end user that if the software developer is unable or unwilling to support the software, the source code, deployment scripts, databases and other vital components can be released to them and business operations can continue as normal.
Escrow London urges companies to look into protecting themselves from the potential risks of their software/cloud provider going bust. There are a number of software escrow agreements available to businesses today which include:
- SaaS Escrow Agreement
A SaaS Escrow agreement is used for SaaS hosted applications within AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or private hosting vendor. Solutions typically include replicated environments with 90 days of live continuity, deposit of production environment access credentials and the deposit of all the components that are required to spin up a SaaS environment (i.e. source code, deployment scripts, databases).
- Single Beneficiary Source Code Escrow Agreement
A Single Beneficiary source code escrow agreement is made up of the depositor, beneficiary and the software escrow vendor as an independent 3rd party. A software escrow service agreement of this type is usually used when a client is licensing software from a developer. The agreement clearly outlines the release events and a guideline for the process should a release occur.
- Multi Beneficiary Source Code Escrow Agreement
Multi Beneficiary software escrow agreements are used by a developer to provide comfort to their clients that they have a standing software escrow agreement in place. By having a Multi Beneficiary agreement in place, under a single agreement, the developer is able to add an unlimited number of beneficiaries to the master agreement.
- Data Hosting Agreements
Data Hosting agreements are used when a company requires critical databases and other critical data to be stored by a software escrow vendor. This protects the company from loss of data or access to data due to a hosting vendor’s bankruptcy, liquidation or ransomware attack.
Investing in a software escrow agreement can provide a number of benefits including:
- Business Continuity Assurance – The cost of software escrow is usually a small percentage of the overall cost when investing in technology. A software escrow solution will ensure business continuity and will mitigate against the risks associated with modern software/cloud service delivery methods and the growing responsibility of service providers.
- Provides accurate and up-to-date data – A software escrow agreement will only have value if the data and deposit materials are up to date and accurate. Using a software escrow vendor who can introduce automated deposits as standard within all their agreements will provide extra benefits to your company.
- Verification Testing – Verification testing provided by the software escrow vendor on a regular basis can ensure that the system is deployable and operational, offering added advantages to your business.
For further information on what software escrow services Escrow London provides, please click here.