How to Maximize Your Investment and Avoid Potential Vendor Lock-In

The majority of enterprise software is now consumed via SaaS or cloud deployments. Despite a perception of simplicity in software acquisition, many cloud contracts require all the rigor and due diligence of contracts for on-premises licensed software.

Client–vendor relationships in the cloud are seemingly perpetual. When converting from an on-premises arrangement, it is imperative that these agreements provide a chance for a new slate. Thus, chief information officers (CIOs), chief marketing officers (CMOs), line-of-business (LOB) executives, procurement managers and other organizational leaders should ensure that the mistakes they made with on- premises licensed software aren't blindly carried over.

The Enterprise Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights provides a tool for clients and vendors to change the tenor of contract negotiations from user subservience to an equal and collaborative long-term partnership.

Purpose & Intent: 

This document is intended to help buyers and prospective buyers of enterprise cloud applications. This bill of rights serves as a reference, checklist and point of discussion with vendors during the vendor selection and contract negotiation process for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps. Though vendors may not honor all these rights today, they represent the best practices we have gleaned from being involved in negotiating over 500 SaaS contracts. This bill of rights also captures the general spirit and intent of most SaaS vendors’ executive management teams.

In the future, Constellation will certify and recognize vendors for recognizing these rights upfront in their existing contract language. A second research report will feature individual vendors who support the Enterprise Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights.

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