Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist

Clearly identify your objectives and requirements before choosing a cloud service provider.

How to use the checklist

Microsoft created the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist, instructions, and worksheet to meet business needs with a standardized approach.

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Formalized service specifications

Once you know your objectives and requirements you can create formalized service specifications to address the business needs cloud service providers require to build an appropriate response.

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How the checklist helps organizations exercise due diligence

The checklist promotes a thoroughly vetted move to the cloud, provides structured guidance, and a consistent, repeatable approach for choosing a cloud service provider.

Cloud adoption is no longer simply a technology decision. Because checklist requirements touch on every aspect of an organization, they serve to convene all key internal decision-makers—the CIO and CISO as well as legal, risk management, procurement, and compliance professionals. This will increase the efficiency of the decision-making process and ground decisions in sound reasoning, thereby reducing the likelihood of unforeseen roadblocks to adoption. In the case of Convergent Computing, a San Francisco-based IT consulting firm, they used the checklist to bring consensus to an otherwise chaotic decision process and reduced the decision cycle from a six-month process down to six weeks.

Learn how the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist helps protect you.


The checklist provides

Key topics for decision makers

Highlights key discussion topics for decision-makers at the beginning of the cloud adoption process.

Support thorough business discussions

The checklist provides support thorough business discussions about regulations and objectives.

Help identifying potential issues

The checklist helps organizations identify any potential issues that could affect a cloud project.

Consistent questions

Consistent questions for every cloud service provider to simplify comparing different offerings.

Forrester Research study results

Cloud service agreement infographic

Cloud service agreement video

Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the current state of cloud agreements against the elements of the ISO/IEC 19086-1 Standard. View results of the study in a short video.

Cloud service agreement report

Why Microsoft created the Due Diligence Checklist

Microsoft developed the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist to help organizations exercise due diligence as they consider a move to the cloud. It provides a structure for an organization of any size and type—private businesses and public sector organizations, including government at all levels and nonprofits—to identify their own performance, service, data management, and governance objectives and requirements. This allows them to compare the offerings of different cloud service providers, ultimately forming the basis for a cloud service agreement.

The checklist provides a framework that aligns clause-by-clause with a new international standard for cloud service agreements, ISO/IEC 19086. This standard offers a unified 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.

Microsoft has been an active member of the panel of experts that developed this standard over a three-year period. The checklist distills the standard’s 37 pages into a simpler, two-page document that organizations can use to negotiate a cloud service agreement that meets their business objectives. Because it is grounded in the new standard, the checklist is service- and provider-neutral, applying to any organization requiring cloud services and any cloud service provider.


Frequently asked questions


Additional resources

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Protection for you

How the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist helps protect you.

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Watch an instruction guide

Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist instructions guide.

Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist