What’s Holding Law Firms Back From The Cloud?
September 11, 2018 in Cloud Network
By: Lorita Ba
Why Are Law Practices Reluctant In Going To The Cloud
Outdated technology can be a burden on companies in any industry, and law firms are no exception. The abilities to keep information secure, recall important data at a moment’s notice and operate consistently, without miscommunication or downtime, have become universal needs for modern organizations. Law firms that can’t operate on this bare minimum level of performance may find themselves falling behind others’ capabilities. By failing to consider tech upgrades, firms may be causing these problems for themselves.
The good news for law firms that have been too resistant to updating IT systems thus far is that the solution for such problems is relatively simple and self-evident. When organizations adopt new technologies on a cloud model, they can skip the large capital expenditures and intense demands on employees’ time that come along with such in-house changes. The main obstacle keeping businesses from making such an upgrade may now be psychological.
Confronting Doubts And Hesitation
Being bound by tradition and age-old practices can be a great burden on companies, one law firms may be dealing with as they consider getting their technology in line with modern standards. Organizations dealing with large server rooms and decades of specialized applications may feel trapped by the infrastructures they’ve built, unable to jump into the cloud waters. Fortunately, the situation is not actually that desperate. The way to the cloud may prove surprisingly smooth.
Contributing to National Law Review, Jaliz Maldonado suggested there are mistaken assumptions circulating about the cloud. For instance, internal IT teams may be suspicious of the cloud’s security capabilities, or assume that cloud service providers are major causes of data breaches. Those facts don’t line up with the market as it exists today, however. Indeed, top cloud provider employees have extensive security training, while their products are carefully monitored and approved for use in regulated industries.
Furthermore, Maldonado called out the assumption that cloud technology is still immature. This opinion isn’t so much wrong as outdated. The cloud has spent more than a decade maturing into its present form, and solutions that may have not passed muster in the past have become essential and respected parts of companies’ digital tool kits. Failure to keep up with development could be keeping companies from achieving peak efficiency.
Another common suggestion from internal IT workers is that there’s no need to replace present infrastructure. While these employees may believe they’re hewing to a sensible “If it isn’t broken” mentality, yet a refusal to consider the cloud may leave them stuck with greater costs in the future. As Maldonado pointed out, a switch to the cloud enables rolling updates rather than the capital expense of changing systems whenever they become outdated.
Watching New Firms Thrive
According to The Legal Intelligencer, there are numerous examples of newly formed law firms embrace cloud technology and reap the resulting benefits. Rather than obscure cases, these are instructive examples for organizations of all sizes and ages. There’s a universal need for the upgrades these young businesses are making, and their new status quo is sure to be the envy of any law firm stuck with an overcomplicated or weakening legacy system.
The overhead costs of using in-house IT made the cloud a more palatable options to the boutique firm founders who spoke with The Legal Intelligencer. Dealing with traditional record-keeping, whether that means servers, filing cabinets or both, calls for massive investments in space, physical infrastructure and constant oversight. The cloud’s operational expense structure can take some of the pressure off of companies, as can reduced computing power needs – when applications aren’t running on premises, PCs don’t have to have as much processing might.
The news provider added that there’s a clear path to similar cloud-based savings for established firms as well as the startups making the leap. The main challenge may be the complexity of moving over years of systems and the fact that ingrained practices and technologies can create inertia among staff and management alike. Organizations that overcome these factors can achieve the same efficiency and cost benefits experienced by today’s forward-thinking founders.
As time passes, conventional wisdom about the need to keep old servers may be changing. The money being poured into these systems can be seen as a sunk cost rather than a true investment. Endlessly maintaining and replacing outdated hardware eventually costs more than it’s worth.