Are You Considering the Legal Issues of your 2017 Digital Transformation?

05/31/2017 / Amanda Matchett

If you are considering a digital transformation in 2017, you are not alone. Every industry, including the legal industry, has felt the pull to complete varying degrees of digital transformation. Such an undertaking can include moving storage to a cloud service, the addition of mobile applications, going paperless or using an e-signature platform. To ensure compliance with the law, the ethical use of technology, and the security of all data, organizations should fully consider all applicable legal and compliance issues that may arise during any digital transformation.

Breaches of data security and privacy have been causing negative headlines lately. Protecting data should be a priority for any company and should be at the forefront of any digital transformation. Proposed legislation, if passed, would require certain companies to employ a cybersecurity expert or form a cybersecurity committee. Even if this does not apply yet, it is a good practice and a digital transformation is a great opportunity for consideration, review and implementation.

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission will be paying closer attention to privacy policies in 2017 and ensuring that privacy practices actually match privacy policies. With this closer review, there is potential for increased fines and penalties. Again, a digital transformation is a great opportunity to review and update privacy policies and their corresponding practices to avoid issues and ensure compliance.

One common digital transformation that applies across many industries and is a good example of the necessity of a legal review is within human resources. Human Resources technology is rapidly changing and improving but can have legal implications. Emerging technologies in this sector include cloud-based and mobile applications, data analytics, and real time support for employee performance and engagement. With the increased use of these technologies, companies must focus on data security, privacy, and general regulatory compliance as labor laws still apply to technology use, and the company using the technology remains responsible for such compliance.

When completing a digital transformation, it typically includes the development of an overall strategy for implementation, and this strategy should include full consideration of potential legal and compliance issues. This may include transaction negotiation strategy, implementing a cyberdefense policy or committee, achieving consistent service levels, understanding compliance requirements, or reviewing and updating security and privacy policies. There may be additional, tangential legal issues that should be considered like intellectual property protections and the use of independent contractors and consultants. For those considering a digital transformation in 2017, seize the opportunity to complete a legal and compliance review.