Find Lawyers in Portland, Oregon for IT Outsourcing Law

Practice Area Overview

IT outsourcing law developed to meet the need of companies contracting with outside parties to develop, maintain, and operate complex information systems. The IT outsourcing lawyer needs to have a strong grounding in the common law of contracts for services, intellectual property protection, and the unique characteristics of software. Unlike the sale of equipment or the one-time licensing of software, the IT outsourcing relationship will develop and unfold over many years. Therefore, the lawyer must be able to plan for a relationship with a beginning, middle, and end, much like the planning of a joint venture. The outsourcing lawyer must understand the economic incentives of the service provider and the goals of the customer. Most commonly, the customer’s primary goal in outsourcing its IT system is to save money, both operating and labor costs. The customer also may be expecting to benefit from the superior skills and resources of the service provider providing IT services, to hire a change agent, or to replace legacy service providers with “as-a-service” providers.

Lawyers experienced in IT outsourcing will have a good understanding of the outsourcing industry and will be familiar with many of the large service providers and their service methodologies. They are familiar with the pricing models and service levels common in the industry. They will be experienced working with the non-legal advisors also working in the more complex outsourcing transactions. Practitioners in the field of IT outsourcing typically have broad experience with contracts providing for application development and maintenance, IT infrastructure, data center services, hosting and cloud solution, network management, software distribution, managed services, user care, help desk, and cybersecurity. They will often work with lawyers specializing in sales and use tax, employment law, dispute resolution, intellectual property, privacy, and insurance coverage.

Once an IT outsourcing contract is signed, the IT outsourcing lawyer will continue to support the client in advising on contract interpretation and, when necessary, assisting in informal or formal dispute resolution, and in renegotiation or termination of the contract. The IT outsourcing lawyer thus should be involved in the entire lifecycle of an IT outsourcing contract.
Susan Altman

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