Hands down, cloud technologies are predominately mainstream today. Businesses lacking in proper advisement about cloud may misinterpret what they are purchasing and what else is necessary or even possible to leverage from these technologies. Let’s consider what “cloud” refers to, how it benefits your law firm and what else is of concern to ensure alignment for daily operations and continuity of your legal practice.
What are Cloud Technologies and Solutions?
Cloud simply means the use of the internet to access and consume technical resources such as business applications and data. The other option is on-premise equipment housed within your business location like servers, routers, switches. Even a cloud-based application often called software as a service (SaaS) such as your legal practice and case management software requires far more than simply the licenses and training on how to use the product.
Infrastructure management requires technical expertise in other aspects beyond the software and the data. Cybersecurity, backup/restore, server architecture, resource management, storage cost optimization, monitoring, maintenance, and support are all essential elements to consider with cloud environments. That’s where a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is needed.
Today’s public cloud solutions are primarily provided by one of the big three: Microsoft, Google, Amazon. Let’s use Microsoft as an example. When your business runs in the cloud with Microsoft it means you are using their physical data center resources (servers, network, storage, internet connections, etc.) that are owned and managed by Microsoft in geographic locations around the world. This saves your business money as you do not have to own and operate expensive servers and apparatus on site.
As a customer of Microsoft cloud solutions, you would not work directly with Microsoft but would instead hire one of their CSP partners. For a CSP to become a Microsoft partner, specific stringent criteria must be met to ensure quality for your law firm and integrity for the Microsoft brand. Microsoft Azure skills and competencies coupled with traditional competencies from the days of on-premise solutions makes for the best CSP possible.
The CSP would manage licenses for all Microsoft products such as Microsoft 365 productivity applications and cloud server licenses and work with your legal software vendor to ensure integration between those products. As stated earlier there are many aspects to consider beyond the licenses. Of critical importance will be cybersecurity, data compliance, and business continuity to include backup strategies and support.
What are the benefits?
The rise of cloud as the mainstream in business technologies offers advantages for your law firm.
- Reduce costs compared to racks of on-premise data equipment (Microsoft worries about datacenter equipment and management)
- The “As a Service” model means you pay for only what you need monthly and scale seamlessly as your business grows
- With a CSP you won’t need to hire any or as many technology workers, which saves money and reduces risk of knowledge deficiency and staff attrition
- Should you relocate your physical premises there is no data equipment to relocate, saves time and money
- Select a CSP that is also a turn-key managed IT service provider (MSP) for all your technologies like desktop, laptop, printers, phones, conference room audio/visual equipment to keep things simple with a centralized focus
- Select a CSP/MSP provider that offers regular strategic assessments and advice as your vCIO and an integrated member for your legal team
- CSP/MSP will manage your projects when technology improvements are needed
- All types of subject matter experts within a single CSP/MSP you won’t need to manage what skills to hire or maintain
- Your lawyers can work seamlessly and securely 24/7 from anywhere
- Build a relationship with one CSP/MSP who really understands your challenges
- Select a CSP/MSP that specializes in the legal industry
- Cloud integration enables a path for legal practice integrated solutions and automation
- Move your desktops to the cloud (virtual desktops) for increased efficiency and work productivity
- Beat out your competition with modernized technologies that make a difference to your clients
Regardless of how little or how much cloud enabled technologies exist in your practice today, you’ll need the CSP as your firm’s experts to assess, manage and ensure you continue to progress towards the best possible competitive productivity model. Even the slimmest changes towards lean processes, automation and client touch point interfaces just might be the differentiating factor to attract new clients and retain the current ones.
AKAVEIL Technologies, Inc. is a U.S. based IT service provider whose customer centric culture engages with your team to ensure best of class service quality and alignment. AKAVEIL offers law firm modernization with your strategic purpose in mind, from legacy technologies to the cloud and beyond. You stay focused on running your law practice while AKAVEIL ensures your business technologies are running seamlessly with reliability, security, compliance, and impeccable support response times to enhance your competitive advantage. Contact us today for a free technology assessment and build a lasting relationship with a technology partner who cares.