Microsoft Cloud coming to Canada

The Law Society of BC has guidelines for Cloud based service usage by firms within their purview.  The effect of these guidelines has largely excluded consideration of Microsoft’s Cloud based services, Azure and Office 365 from Firms in BC.

Report: Cloud Computing Working Group, July 15, 2011 – Law Society of BC

There are several problems with lawyers having their business records stored or processed outside British Columbia. Lawyers have a professional obligation to safeguard clients’ information to protect confidentiality and privilege. When a lawyer entrusts client information to a cloud provider the lawyer will often be subjecting clients’ information to a foreign legal system. The foreign laws may have lower thresholds of protection than Canadian law with respect to accessing information. A lawyer must understand the risks (legal, political, etc.) of having client data stored and processed in foreign jurisdictions.

As an IT service provider, which clients in the Legal profession, this has been frustrating.  We see the use of this technology in our other client verticals and know of the reliability, speed, and efficiency that it brings our customers.

On June 2, 2015 Microsoft announced that it is deploying Canadian datacentres for all its Canadian clients in order to alleviate the privacy concerns inherent in its previously American-only hosted products.

Kevin Turner, Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft, June 2, 2015

“Soon, the Microsoft Cloud will be truly Canadian,” said Kevin Turner, Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft, who travelled to Toronto to make the announcement. “This substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed we are to bringing even more opportunity to Canadian businesses and government organizations, helping them fully realize the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud,”

While we await the launch of these datacentres, we want to make sure the right people are notified, so they may begin to prepare their due diligence and investigate what Cloud computing can do for their organizations.