Law firms who are unsure over the integration of a cloud platform into their working practices face the risk of failing to meet their client’s digital expectations. Over the last few years, more and more companies have invested in a digital transformation, and lawyers must make certain that their IT infrastructure meets the needs of a connected society.
The Cloud Is Now Mainstream
An annual survey of 270 chief information officers and data center managers by Computing found that cloud technology is effectively ubiquitous in every organization. According to the Computing Cloud and Infrastructure Review 2017, cloud adoption is increasing, with 70 percent of companies making the first moves to an effective cloud strategy in their working practices.
Three years ago, 52 percent of people interviewed for Computing’s annual survey said that they used no cloud services at all. Fast forward to 2017 and that figure has dropped to 8 percent. In the last 12 months, around 7 percent of companies have “discovered” the cloud, the report said. In addition, 71 percent of respondents said that their use of cloud services would increase in the next year.
“71 percent of companies will increase cloud services in next 12 months.“
With that in mind, company size plays a large role in determining a cloud strategy.
Small-to-medium sized companies—those with between 50 and 99 employees, according to the report—were already invested in cloud migration; around 76 percent had integrated an initial cloud strategy, while 3 percent were cloud-only. At the other end of the scale, larger organizations were more likely to adopt a “cloud-first” mentality, the report said, citing the speed and agility of cloud services as reasons why these entities had a cloud-centric focus
“All of this shows that cloud is now thoroughly mainstream, with the naysayers dwindling to an ever-smaller minority,” wrote Computing’s John Leonard. “Most are using cloud as an add-on rather than a replacement. For most it is a case of mixing on-site and public cloud technology.”
Cloud Platform Decisions Are A Team Effort
The revelation that the so-called naysayers are becoming harder to find is not that much of a surprise. The cloud has been seen as long-term disrupter of workplace practices, especially for industry sectors that value the convenience of using shared pools of configurable resources.
The benefits of migrating to cloud for document-centric organizations such as law firms, for example, can include increased collaboration, speed of delivery and access to insights or critical data. For smaller firms, the cloud can be a useful tool to reduce IT infrastructure costs, while an increasing number of advocates, which includes members of the American Bar Association, will point to the fact that a cloud-first strategy will (inevitably) allow legal teams to be more agile.
Internal decision-making was cited as one challenge to overcome, with 44 percent of all strategic cloud platform decisions being made by IT directors or their equivalent. When you consider that a transition to the cloud will affect every part of an organization, then it follows that deciding which cloud services provider to choose should involve more than just the IT department.The vast majority of leaders in every business sector are more than aware of the potential of the cloud, although the Computing report did note that the plethora of cloud-related definitions can often seem daunting to those companies taking their first steps away from legacy IT infrastructure.
“The size of an organization certainly has an impact on who makes the decisions,” the authors of the Computing report said. “The CIO is far more likely to be leading in organizations numbering in excess of 5,000 employees—probably because they are more likely to have one in the first place. The smaller the organization is the greater likelihood there is of cloud platform decision making being more of a team pursuit.”
The fact of the matter is that the cloud is not only here to stay but will continue to play an increased role in how companies approach their daily working practices. As cloud services continue to evolve, the need to integrate a solution that meets and exceeds both company and client expectations will be critical. To find out more about how Afinety can put your law firm on the path to meeting client expectations and digital needs, contact us today.