What is technology escrow?

Technology escrow, sometimes called software escrow, is a way of mitigating risk – for both the developer and the licensee – when negotiating a software or technology license.

With a technology escrow contract, the developer’s source code (or other technology) is placed in a secure escrow account held by Iron Mountain – a neutral, trusted independent, designated third party. Therefore, if the developer is unable to support the product in the future for reasons specified in the escrow agreement—such as bankruptcy, obsolescence, merger or acquisition—the licensee will still have access to the source code they need to keep their mission-critical applications up and running.

At Iron Mountain, software is 80 percent of the intellectual property held in escrow for clients. But our clients store many other items as well, such as hardware, firmware, databases, formulas, a cookie recipe, a jet engine and even a genetic sequence. Any type of intellectual property needing ultra-high security is a prime candidate for some kind of escrow.

Successful software escrow provides real-time, Web-based account management and incorporates chain-of-custody best practices. A client knows that any deposit is being safely stored and is easily monitored. Security is key, and it must be part of the entire process, from the storage of the assets to the procedures for access and retrieval.

Today, the Software-as-a-Service model (SaaS) is becoming increasingly prevalent. Here, the customer never receives actual software, but instead goes online to access an application hosted on the SaaS provider’s servers.  To protect against the threat of downtime, both the provider and the subscriber will welcome the chance to protect access to SaaS applications and data in the event of unforeseen circumstances with our SaaSProtect Business Continuity Services.

Ultimately, technology escrow is about building trust between developers and users of technology. To learn more about how technology escrow can benefit you, click on your role below:

  • Developers

    Do you develop and sell software or other technology? Learn more

  • Licensees

    Do you buy and use software or other technology that is mission-critical for your business? Learn more

  • Law Firms

    Do you work at a law firm that represents sellers or buyers of software or other technology? Learn more