When the very notion of accessing software applications on the cloud hit the legal profession – let alone cloud-based data storage and retrieval – most law firms reacted in a predictably risk-averse manner: That’s interesting, but what is the data security exposure to the firm, the confidentiality risks to clients, the liability insurance coverage implications?
All of those important questions continue to be asked, of course, but it’s noteworthy that many early-adopter firms are now sharing their experiences with migration to the cloud for software delivery . . . and the good news is they’re finding significant business advantages.
“Four out of five cloud adopters report significant process improvements within six months of moving to the cloud, while 82% indicate substantial cost savings,” according to Law Technology Today.
One of the key reasons for these business gains, according to legal tech experts, is that migrating to cloud-based delivery of software applications requires minimal IT expenditures from the firm and can be totally seamless from the perspective of the user.
Kevin Harrang, co-founder of MetaJure, developer of an automated document management system for the legal industry, emphasizes that there is a need to focus on users’ experiences.
“I try to take advantage of past lessons learned and one of these is this: any improvement that leverages the way people already work is vastly superior to one that depends on getting people to adopt a new and different way of working,” said Harrang, who served as deputy general counsel for legal operations at Microsoft prior to starting MetaJure with noted IP attorney Marty Smith. “This may seem obvious, but it’s a persistent problem, especially with technology.”
Earlier this year, MetaJure teamed up with LexisNexis Managed Technology Services to offer its automated document management system to clients in a secure cloud-based environment. LexisNexis has more than 35 years of experience managing large amounts of legal industry data at nine global data centers around the world, providing full service data center operations, managed hosting, cloud and disaster recovery services.
Some of the business advantages cited by law firms who have migrated to the cloud include the following:
- Cost savings (no servers needed to host software)
- Minimal IT involvement (software maintenance performed by cloud provider)
- Scalable (cloud services sold on demand and can be ramped up or down as needed)
The bottom line: law firms that have engaged LexisNexis to provide hosting solutions reported to us that the cloud provides scalable access to powerful technology tools that can help a law firm manage its profitability and sets it up for future efficiencies as the firm grows.
* * *
This post is by Daryn Teague, who provides support to the litigation software product line based in the LexisNexis Raleigh Technology Center.