Cloud Computing for Law Firms
Cloud computing has become one of the most skyrocketing, transformative, and innovative technologies of the 21st century, revolutionizing almost every industry on the planet. Talking numbers, in 2022, the global IaaS cloud has reached a mark of $120 bn, the global PaaS market has reached $110 bn and the SaaS market reached $177 bn, according to a Statista report.
Exploring cloud adoption among the industries, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and government are the industries that embrace the cloud services in the most rapid way as Stefanini Group research shows. However, law firms have been indecisive about cloud technology adoption for a long time. Recently, they’ve started demonstrating a more positive attitude to the cloud due to the advancements in cybersecurity, rising client demand, and the opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
However, what are the most common reasons why legal specialists still have some doubts about cloud deployment?
Why do some legal professionals stay away from the cloud?
Despite the multiple benefits of cloud computing, there are still some factors that keep legal professionals from migrating to the cloud. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
If a law firm experienced some issues while deploying cloud services in the past, it could have left a bad impression. For instance, the re-architecturing process was really challenging or the company didn’t consider the asset optimization in time and lost a huge amount of money.
Still, it doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable to reject everything connected to the cloud. Past troubles shouldn’t be considered representative of how most cloud servers operate nowadays. Some cloud providers give users the opportunity to try cloud services from various categories like compute, databases, and storage for free before purchase:
- For instance, AWS has three different types of free offers: free trial, 12 months free, and always free;
- Azure has two groups of free services (security, networking, media, and so on): free for 12 months, and always free;
- GCP offers 3 free options: 20 free services for everyone, $300 in free credits for new customers, and additional free credits for businesses.
Testing cloud services during free trial period before making any commitments is a good practice for understanding if it is suitable for business in terms of usability and future expenses.
Many law firms reject cloud technology as the migration process seems to be very difficult. The problem here lies in the fact that companies don’t understand the idea of moving to cloud and don’t know how to reorganize the existing infrastructure.
Several companies in the market can help organizations migrate to the cloud without much stress. Such cloud migration companies will help you decide on the best strategy to achieve a smooth transition to the cloud. Also, cloud migration companies help organizations navigate complexity, determine the right cloud strategy, operating model, roadmap, and ecosystem partners. They also help businesses to accelerate migration and modernization to the cloud.
Instead of dealing with all the above-mentioned practices, law firms can explore the market and find experienced specialists that will facilitate the migration processes, while the legal professionals handle their law-related tasks.
Additionally, some legal professionals believe that they give up control over their clients’ sensitive data and essential documents, as it seems safer to have all their data on servers physically located nearby. This point of view limits their ability to scale, as it’s more difficult in the case of on-premises software deployment. In reality, they are not giving up control or possession of their data, they are just moving it to a safer, easily accessible location.
Security and compliance concerns
Security concerns are the reason why some law firms remain dubious about using cloud technologies. It makes total sense as law firms have an increased degree of responsibility towards data confidentiality and data storage.
Back in the day, companies strongly considered in-house servers to be the most reliable option, and it was. However, modern cloud computing services are accelerating really fast and typically offer considerably more secure services today than on-premise solutions. Major cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are proven to be secure and compliant. They may help companies meet global compliance requirements such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. We’ve covered this topic more thoroughly in our previous article “Cloud Compliance Regulations and Best Practices”.
Reasons for law firms to migrate to the cloud
Let’s explore what benefits have motivated the industry to take a step toward cloud migration after all, and why it’s time for legal specialists to trust the cloud.
Cost saving opportunities
Cloud computing is a more cost-effective option for law companies, in comparison with the on-premises architecture. Here’s why: with the cloud, company owners don’t need to purchase expensive hardware, pay for its installation and maintenance, as well as find a place to store it and pay rent for the server rooms. Choosing cloud-based services, companies only pay for the ordered resources, according to the pay-as-you-go model.
One more case is when a company pays less, using long-term commitments like Reserved Instances or Spot Instances offered by cloud providers such as AWS or Azure. These opportunities can save an organization a significant amount of money if considered seriously and used with a sophisticated preliminary analysis of a company’s needs and resource consumption rates.
Law firms can also benefit from storing data on different cloud platforms that are compliant and safe. The risk of sensitive data loss reduces in this case, as the cloud vendors offer trustworthy disaster recovery systems, as well as regular backups.
When data is kept on-site, the scalability process usually takes more time, money, and effort. Law firms using cloud-based services can perform their daily operations without updating or adding equipment, software, and so on.
Being able to focus on the growth of the business instead of continuously thinking about high costs is a notable advantage of cloud scalability. Additionally, suppose the company needs to take a break, cut down the number of employees, and scale down for the sake of optimizing the financial assets (for example, in times of crises like pandemics). In that case, they can easily resize their resources without letting the expensive hardware be covered by dust.
With the development of cloud technologies, it became clear that it’s time for changes and the cloud providers proved they can handle users’ data in a more secure and compliant way. Cloud can use a secondary server if the primary system fails. As a result, the risk of downtimes or equipment damage decreases. Cloud offers regular automatic backups if not disabled manually, protecting law firms from mission-critical data loss.
Cloud provides teams with effective collaboration, remote use of services, smart calendaring, virtual meetings, and centralized file storage. Using cloud computing, many firms can scale and expand with less friction. Some law firms have expanded to multiple locations with cloud computing serving as the backbone for this growth.
Nowadays, instead of actively searching for an in-person administrative staff member who can be expensive and resource-demanding, firms can hire a virtual assistant or other independent contractors to save time and money.
The next step
It’s hard to tell where the legal industry is going for sure, but the cloud will certainly play a key role in its evolution. In order to facilitate cloud resource management and cost optimization, law firms can use third-party solutions that provide a deeper view into the consumption patterns.
One such solution is Binadox that provides its users with both SaaS and Cloud Utilization Dashboards for reaching total visibility of cloud assets. Additionally, Binadox offers numerous cost optimization features like Rightsizing, Tagging, Cost Explorer, Automation Rules, and Advice section.
Visibility and proper cloud management is something that not only law firms should take into consideration. Discover more cloud opportunities and Binadox will assist you on that journey. Register for a Free Trial and get the most out of your cloud.
August 23, 2022
5 minutes read