When IT convinces Legal to Buy A Software. But How Does it Work?
Published on : 13/03/2023 13 March Mar 03 2023
The IT department is usually involved in the decision-making process regarding which technology to implement, especially during the procurement phase. They are also involved in the implementation and maintenance of the system.
The legal department, however, has distinct objectives in mind, such as providing advice, maintaining company policies, collaborating with internal clients, and interacting with external legal representatives.
That's why it is essential to foster strong communication between Legal and IT departments in order to make informed decisions when selecting technology.
Here are three reasons why the two departments should collaborate closely:
The legal team and IT department must work together to ensure that the company adheres to all applicable laws and regulations, including data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity laws. They must also identify potential risks and ensure that the organization's technology and systems comply with any relevant laws, regulatory bodies, privacy requirements, and other standards for data management.
Ensuring Compliance with Technology
Data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity laws vary depending on the country and industry. The legal team is responsible for understanding and staying up to date with these laws, while the IT department is responsible for implementing and maintaining the technology and systems that the organization uses.
The two departments must collaborate to ensure the organization's compliance with the relevant laws, regulations, and standards. This could include providing the IT department with guidance on how to configure systems and processes to meet data protection and privacy requirements, as well as ensuring that the organization follows measures to protect its data from security threats.
Unraveling Risk: Examining StrategiesManaging risks is a top priority for both of these departments. To protect against data breaches, cyber-attacks, or pending litigation, it's in both their interests to quickly identify and reduce potential risks. Rather than operate independently, both departments should collaborate to develop and execute policies and procedures that mitigate the risk.
An example of the need for clear and constant communication between IT and Legal is data retention policies. IT may have automated systems that delete data after a certain time or when an employee leaves the organization, while Legal may need to override those policies in the event of a legal hold on certain employees or data. Without proper communication between the two departments, there is a risk of data spoliation occurring unintentionally, which could be too late to fix.
Data retention policies are important for organizations in order to comply with regulatory requirements, protect data, and ensure the security of their networks and systems. IT departments typically create and manage automated systems to ensure data is retained for the proper length of time. However, in some cases, Legal may need to override these policies to ensure data is not destroyed if it is needed for a legal hold.
Without clear and consistent communication between IT and Legal, there is a risk of data spoliation occurring unintentionally and without either department realizing it.
Consequently, it is important for organizations to have clear processes and communication channels in place to ensure data is managed in accordance with the organization’s legal and regulatory requirements.
Establishing Solid Strategies That Will Focus on Your Company's GoalsLegal departments are increasingly being required to ensure their activities are in line with their organization's business objectives, and then to report on their performance. To do this, they need access to data analytics that show Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). As reporting of this nature is not typically the responsibility of the legal department, developing a good relationship with IT can help provide the C-Suite with the performance data they need.
ConclusionIn order to ensure effective communication between Legal and IT departments, it is essential for both sides to understand the cultures and needs of the other. Even seemingly simple terms such as "policy" can have drastically different interpretations.
Having a bridge between the two departments, someone who can understand and speak the language of both tech and legal, is essential for all stakeholders. Clear terms such as “policy” could mean different things to different departments, so having a mutual understanding of each other's cultures and needs will help bridge the gap of understanding.
To conclude, it is essential for the Legal and IT departments to interact effectively in order to achieve a successful relationship. By doing so, the organization will ensure compliance with laws and regulations, reduce any potential risks, and ensure that the technology and systems are in line with the goals of the business. Without working together, the organization will struggle to acquire the technology it needs as the two departments will not be in sync.
About the author:
Legal Suite is the worldwide leader in digital transformation for lawyers. We have delivered our state-of-the-art software for lawyers and in-house general counsel to 65,000 users for over two decades. www.legal-suite.com
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