Legal Trends in Technology Outsourcing for 2003

Probably the most important development in information technology law has been the movement away from classic software licensing to technology outsourcing arrangments, such as application service providers. The number of issues in a standard software license deal pale in comparison to the number of legal and business issues raised when outsourcing is involved. Many companies have learned a painful and expensive lesson in the past year or two by treating outsourcing deals on a “contracts as usual” basis.
Paul Roy has an excellent article in Outsourcing Journal called “Legal Outsourcing Trends – A Look Ahead” that highlights some of the key issues and developments in this growing area of law. Based on my experience, his comments are dead-on correct. I’m not saying that this area is the equivalent of legal brain surgery, but this is definitely one area where good intentions, good feelings and a “let’s just keep it really simple and not involve the lawyers” approach makes sense. Nor does it make much more sense for lawyers unfamiliar with the special issues to jump in without any help.