2020. What a year! It's not over yet... | Cloud industry forum

2020. What a year! It's not over yet...

By Frank Jennings, Chair, Code Governance Board and Partner, Wallace LLP

2020 is probably not a year that many will look back on with undiluted pleasure and it might just turn out to be your Annus Horribilis. To British readers, that might sound reminiscent of something someone said in 1992...

We've had a lockdown, been told to work from home or furloughed, told eat out to help and get back to the office then, when we did that, were told we're responsible for the uptick in Covid infections. So, back to WFH again. On top of that, the government's negotiating tactics with the EU now take the form of a threat to breach international law, a form of international border in Kent and the prospect of leaving one of the world's largest trading blocs without a trade deal.

Where does that leave your business? Maybe you've suffered a drop in income and you're looking to cut costs from your business? Or maybe you're busier than ever as customers flock to buy your products and services but you're thinking about cutting costs to increase profits. Either way, make sure you do it lawfully so you don't incur avoidable liabilities. I wrote about that here: Cutting costs? Do so lawfully

Once again, personal data transfers from the EU to USA have become more difficult as the European Court invalidated the Privacy Shield regime over the summer. Obviously data transfers haven't come to a grinding halt and outsourcing IT to the cloud didn't stop, particular with office workers needing remote IT access. So where does that leave us? Read more here: No safe harbour for Privacy shield Remember, a no deal Brexit could make UK / EU data transfers a challenge too. You should check your customer and supplier contracts to see how they handle personal data transfers.

The UK government is threatening to leave the EU without a trade deal. Even for businesses in the service sector, that could affect your prices, your ability to hire staff from the EU and your ability to win business from EU27 customers. Have a look at No breathing space for Brexit and Do you know your settled status from your sponsor licence?

Chris Denning

About the author: Frank is a Partner at Wallace LLP specialising in cloud & technology, commercial contracts, data security, & intellectual property. His clients come to him not just for his specialist legal advice but also rely upon him for his can do mentality and his pragmatic approach to solving problems and managing risk, helping to maximise return on investment. Clients say his robustly drafted contracts have helped them avoid expensive legal action. Independent legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners rate him as “a leading expert in cloud contracts”.