A recent study showed that three-quarters of law firms expect half of their IT systems to be cloud-based or a managed service within the next five years. This shift to the cloud has been predicted by the industry for a number of years but it’s only recently that momentum has really picked up.
The ever increasing rate of cyber attacks, in particular Ransomware, targeted towards law firms has forced cyber security onto the agenda. This is now a board-level issue that cannot be ignored. Whereas once the cloud was considered high risk, it’s now viewed as the more secure and resilient option.
Concerns around cloud security have largely faded as technology has advanced and firm leaders are recognising that cloud can provide a competitive advantage. This fear of the unknown is now replaced by a fear of being left behind.
Typically, a traditional partner ownership model doesn’t incentivise investment in non-revenue generating activities. However, we’re seeing a change in approach to investment in IT, certainly amongst the more forward-thinking firms. Whether that’s a firm looking to mitigate risk, attract new talent, or to make efficiencies as a result of PI reforms, cloud services can support firms in achieving their strategic aims.
Greater workforce flexibility and collaboration means increased productivity at a time when many firms are under pressure to reduce costs and increase their margins. There’s a heightened interest from management and a desire to understand cloud which often means that this change is driven by senior managers rather than IT teams. We often start out talking to a Managing Partner who’s looking at the bigger picture and then work collaboratively with a firm’s IT team to deliver the firm’s strategy.
On the back of strong mid-year results I’m confident this trend will continue. Historically, it’s the mid-tier firms who led the pack in terms of cloud adoption but we’re now seeing a greater rate of change amongst the larger firms. With GDPR coming into force next year and the market becoming increasingly competitive, I see a positive future for cloud and technology innovation within the legal sector.
Nigel Wright, Managing Director