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Lawyers more influential than IT staff in cloud deployments

Traditionally considered risk-adverse, lawyers are twice as more influential than in-house technology staff about cloud, research finds

Lawyers, not IT professionals and consultants, wield the most influence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region when it comes to cloud deployments, a survey has found.

According to an IDC survey commissioned by Microsoft and Linklaters, a global law firm, in-house lawyers, traditionally considered risk-adverse, are twice as more influential than in-house technology staff and four times more influential than external consultants in shaping an organisation’s cloud decisions.

In addition, more than half (53%) of the survey respondents from 579 organisations in APAC were able to veto, delay or exercise significant advisory influence over proposed solutions with regard to legal, compliance or regulatory concerns.

The influence of lawyers is set to grow further, given that cloud adoption in APAC has been surging. According to IDC, almost every organisation in the region (99.4%) will be using cloud applications or platforms in the next two years.

To help legal professionals dispense practical and measured guidance on cloud deployments to organisations without compromising legal, regulatory and compliance requirements, Microsoft and Linklaters said they have produced a whitepaper to equip lawyers with cloud-related information and tools.

“Legal professionals today can play a vital role in an organisation’s digital transformation journey by acting as trusted advisers to key decision-makers who are pushing for increased use of new technologies,” said Adrian Fisher, counsel in the technology, media and telecoms practice at Linklaters.

“By arming themselves with the latest knowledge on technological advancements and taking on a more proactive role to address legal and regulatory issues, there is a clear opportunity for the legal community to shape the wave of innovation that is sweeping across all industries,” he added.

With legal professionals operating in the boundaries of regulatory frameworks, government policies regarding privacy, security and intellectual property (IP) are expected to have a bigger impact on cloud adoption across the region.

Read more about cloud computing in APAC

In a recent BSA scorecard that ranked how 24 countries fared in paving the way for cloud adoption, developed nations such Singapore and Japan did well largely because they have good policies for cross-border data flows, data protection and cyber security.

China, Indonesia and Vietnam were at the bottom of the rankings, largely due to weaker scores in terms of IP protection, data privacy and policies that promote free trade and cross-border data flows.

Read more on Regulatory compliance and standard requirements

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