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Cloud computing a windfall for law firms

Cloud computing a windfall for law firms

The concept of cloud computing is taking corporations by storm, and law firms are seeing the silver lining.

The concept of cloud computing is takingcorporations by storm, and law firms are seeing the silver lining.

Sydney based law firm Truman Hoyle has beeninvited to help form an Asia Pacific working party that will provide policyadvice regarding how legal and regulatory harmonisation and risk assessmentcould smooth the way for organisations looking to harness cloud computing.

Cloud computing is a term used to describe away of providing computing capacity in a utility form, Truman Hoyle explained.Users pay for what they use, when they use it. Besides clear economic benefits,there are environmental advantages to be reaped also, the firm said.

However, some organisations harbour lingeringconcerns about the practice as the computers, software and data which make upthe cloud service are often located overseas, which raises a number of issuesregarding privacy and data sovereignty.

There is growing awareness that improvedunderstanding of the issues, coupled with legislative and regulatoryharmonisation in both APEC and OECD nations would deliver increased certaintyfor industry and reduce many of the hurdles for organisations consideringmigrating their computing to the cloud, the firm said today.

Mark Vincent, a partner at TrumanHoyle, will this week attend a series of meetings in Asia Pacific aimed atestablishing the working party with representatives from industry, governmentand the IT sector invited to explore the issues in detail and prepare a seriesof policy advisories.

Vincent will also present at a conference on the issue, being held in Hong Kong this week. A secondconference scheduled in Bangalore the following week.

Vincent will partner with US basedenvironmental technologist Dr Jonathan Koomey, who has long proposed cloudcomputing as a technique to help reduce the carbon footprint associated withinformation technology, to explore the current state of cloud computing.

“There are growing signs that the strongeconomic and environmental arguments for cloud computing will lead to theregulatory problems being overcome,” said Vincent.

“In some cases that may be as simple asdeveloping privacy policies that allow data to be held offshore.

“There are compelling commercial reasons forcloud computing. Organisations wishing to use these style of services, andvendors selling cloud services have to get to grips with the compliance andregulatory issues as well as understand the need for appropriate levels of duediligence.

 “Ultimately the risk assessment will for manycustomers help to make the case for cloud computing, when compared criticallywith existing IT services,” he said. 

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