“The cloud” is one of those buzzwords that seems to dominate any discussion of technology now. The cloud is a catch-all term for computer services and data storage via the web. It can deliver greater flexibility, reduce capital outlay and improve security of data. But how can it benefit your practice and what should you look out for when choosing a supplier
The benefits of Cloud?
- Guaranteed network uptime delivers fee earner and secretary productivity.
- Built in business continuity means that if the worst does happen then your staff can continue to work almost immediately from any internet enabled device.
- The cloud is in essence, pay on demand IT. This means you can pay for what you use and scale up or down when you need to, to meet changing market needs.
- Reduce your IT costs by reducing the costs associated with IT service management, staff costs and costs associated with downtime.
- Cloud enables your staff to work from anywhere, anytime on any device and has proven to boost staff productivity.
- Cloud includes all your server hardware and Microsoft licensing so you can avoid the high unpredictable financial costs associated with hardware and software upgrades, and forget about high one off capital expenditure associated with IT spend.
- New application roll outs or test environments can be delivered quickly and efficiently and on demand.
- The right cloud provider will meet all of your IT compliance needs as standard so that you can get on with running the firm.
What to look out for?
The recent Law Society’s practice notes on “Cloud Computing” and “Business Continuity” and the SRA’s “Silver Linings: Cloud Computing, Law Firms and Risk”, together with the Converge TS booklet “Cloud and Compliance: Your questions answered”, all provide a very good review of what to look out for when moving to a cloud provider. This includes:
- Does the provider use UK datacentres and are they ISO 27001?
- Does your provider understand your compliance requirements and meet or exceed them with their cloud offering?
- The cloud service should include disaster recovery and business continuity as standard.
- Is the cloud provider a specialist, i.e. they should have a significant number of law firm clients with available testimonials and the majority of their revenues should come from cloud contracts.
- Is the cloud provider financially secure and how long have they been trading?
- Will the cloud provider meet your target service levels…always read the small print in their terms and conditions?
- Does the provider have experience of hosting your case and practice management and other sector specific applications?
For a FREE copy of our “Cloud and Compliance – Your IT Questions answered” booklet, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.