Trends In Information Technology Law: Looking Ahead To 2015

This piece looks ahead to what we might expect as IT law developments in 2015.1

Termed 'the 3rd platform'2, the convergence of data, cloud, social and mobile is "transforming not just the technology industry, but every industry on the planet"3 and will continue to be the motor for global IT growth in 2015. This is estimated at 3.8% but with little or no growth in older technologies. Skewed in product terms towards 3rd platform growth it will stand at 13%. In geographical terms China will account for 43% of global ICT industry growth in 2015 and one third of all smartphone purchases and online shoppers, benefiting the Big 3 Chinese internet and e-commerce companies, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

Data

Next year, it's all about data - big data, information governance and data regulation, protection, security and sovereignty. Big data is all about using business intelligence and analytics software to harness the vast tides of information generated by the internet and predict what your customers are going to do next. In 2015, the corporate world is playing catch up with big data: Gartner estimates that only 75 Fortune 500 companies will have got there by the end of next year4. These are complex and challenging projects to bring in. They require substantial developments in organisations' data architecture and underlying business processes as well as a structured approach to information governance around risk assessment, strategy, policy and processes. In short, involvement of all stakeholders but close cooperation at the centre of the effort will be especially necessary between the Chief Information Officer's team and the General Counsel's team.

Data regulation becomes even more multi-faceted in 2015. In sectors in which the state takes a particular interest, like banking, insurance, healthcare and travel, platforms and data are becoming more directly, as well as indirectly, regulated. In financial trading, not only are many more IT systems and services indirectly subject to material outsourcing controls, but transparency requirements for pre- and post- trade price data are being directly extended through MiFID II to most asset classes.

But it's the triptych of data protection, security and sovereignty that's really at the epicentre of things next year for the IT legal team. Even money on whether the EU's General Data Protection Regulation makes it to EU the statute book by the end of next year, but the issues are much broader than that: 'trust' -...

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