Feeling in control is essential, especially when it comes to data management. When all data is kept on-premises, within the office, it can provide a feeling of security. After all, as long as nobody breaches the premises, what could possibly go wrong, correct?
The significance of investing in data infrastructure has been emphasized for many years. If your law firm has been operating for over a decade, chances are high that you have made substantial investments in servers, cables, insurance, data recovery systems, and all the hardware with names known only to IT experts.
This was a responsible choice for various reasons: to maintain a competitive edge, to ensure the security of confidential information, and to facilitate internal knowledge sharing.
That’s how IT used to function, even in the most cutting-edge law firms. The emphasis is on the phrase “used to.”
Technology giants have shifted their reliance away from hardware solutions compared to the past
Remember the famous saying “no one got fired for buying IBM”? Hardware solutions, which were once the favored choice for enterprise data storage, now showcase content on hybrid cloud and AI topics on their websites.
Gartner’s list of top strategic technology trends for 2023 emphasizes the urgency of scaling through industry cloud platforms, ranking it among the top 10 trends. (Source) They also predict that by 2024, nearly 60% of IT spending on application software will be directed toward cloud technologies. (Source)
And let’s not forget about Microsoft and its Azure and MS360 offerings. These tools remind us that files can be stored in the cloud, eliminating the need for traditional internal storage when sending attachments the old-fashioned way.
The times have already changed; they are not merely changing. When technology leaders no longer heavily promote their hardware solutions, it serves as the strongest evidence that legacy data storage options have moved far beyond their mature stage. While they won’t disappear entirely, they are simply no longer the optimal approach for business data storage.
What factors contributed to the widespread popularity of cloud technology?
While the impact of COVID bolstered the acceleration of cloud adoption, its rise was already underway.
Security and business continuity have played a significant role. The cloud is no longer seen as a fluffy and unreliable option. Cloud providers now offer best-in-class data protection, making it a recommended choice even for legacy data storage solutions. Storing a copy of data in the cloud ensures data resilience.
Leading cloud storage providers like AWS prioritize robust backup and disaster recovery systems, guaranteeing the safety and accessibility of data for law firms, even in the face of hardware failures, natural disasters, or unexpected events. Automatic backups and offsite data storage reduce the risk of data loss and enable swift recovery, allowing law firms to resume operations quickly.
Acknowledging the increased risk of cyber threats, it would be naive to claim absolute safety for anything on the cloud. However, the same can be said for internal networks. The advantage of cloud technologies is that they often come with regularly updated security features, eliminating the expensive burden of constant enterprise-level updates.
The cloud’s ability to deliver the latest versions of software is a game-changer. Tesla disrupted the automotive industry by constantly updating their cars’ software. Cloud providers follow a similar model, seamlessly rolling out numerous improvements per day without users even noticing. This continuous innovation surpasses the costly and complex upgrade process associated with legacy systems.
Scalability has historically been a major challenge with legacy data storage solutions. Investing in expanding storage capacities based on incorrect growth assumptions can lead to unnecessary costs. Cloud service providers, including Crespect, often operate on a software-as-a-service model, allowing users to pay for precisely what they use through licensing. Adding or removing licenses is a quick and convenient process, especially beneficial during uncertain times like a merger with another law firm.
The cloud enables seamless collaboration and remote work. Accessing information from anywhere is effortless, ensuring that it remains up-to-date. Lawyers can securely share case files, legal documents, and research materials with colleagues, clients, and external partners, enhancing productivity and efficiency whether working from home, client premises, or the office.
The cloud eliminates the need for complicated corporate VPN connections, particularly appealing to the generation that values constant connectivity and unrestricted work locations and devices. Working on the cloud feels natural and effortless.
Operational cost benefits are another advantage. Amazon AWS Cloud reports that 95% of their survey respondents agreed that using cloud services reduces the total cost of operations (TCO) for IT infrastructure compared to on-premises equivalents. Understanding the logic behind investing in the cloud can be explored further through reports like this. (Source)
Most end users find it intriguing that they can effortlessly embrace cloud-based solutions without needing to delve into the intricacies of cloud technology. Platforms such as Dropbox, Zoom, and Salesforce serve as prime examples where we often overlook their cloud-based nature, as they seamlessly leverage the capabilities of the cloud without burdening end users with technical complexities.
What about legal tech solutions based on the cloud?
Cloud-based legal tech solutions encompass all the technical advantages previously mentioned regarding cloud technology. Furthermore, these solutions are specifically designed with the modern law firm and its unique requirements in mind.
In the past decade, life has undergone radical transformations, especially in the digital realm. Effectively managing data can either be a significant cost center or a versatile catalyst for growth. The better equipped your team is in leveraging data, the more efficiently they can serve clients and generate profits.
Aku Sorainen, senior partner at Sorainen law firm and founder of Crespect, shares his approach: “Lawyers tend to be skeptical about new initiatives, and to promote the adoption of new technology internally, you need to build a solid business case, leveraging enthusiasm. Intrapreneurs play a crucial role in ensuring technology adoption.”
He further explains, “For instance, our Corporate and M&A team showed great enthusiasm and saw immense potential in document automation. It took almost a year and a half to develop a compelling business case that piqued the interest of other practice groups. Their openness to data and willingness to explore new solutions resulted in saving 3000 hours in 2022.”
Crespect is a law practice management software that operates in the cloud. In our upcoming blog post, we will delve deeper into the specific advantages and insights of utilizing cloud technology in the legal industry.
If you’re interested in discovering how you can have even better control over your law firm’s data compared to traditional data storage solutions, book a demo of Crespect. We’ll guide you through all the possibilities.