Just over half of all law firms have some services in the cloud.
What trends are affecting their migration?
Is the cloud really safe for law firms?
Are law firms getting left behind? When the idea of the cloud first came up, many law firms were skeptical. Sending your data through the internet to be housed on a third-party’s server seemed risky and potentially untenable. Today, 69% of enterprise organizations have moved their critical applications into the cloud, but just over half of law firms have followed suit and are utilizing cloud technology as a part of their IT solutions. What are the three primary reasons these “early adopter” firms have followed the corporate trend to leverage the cloud? Why is the rest of the profession lagging behind?
Trends in cloud computing for law firms
The reason law firms are among the lowest users of cloud computing among major business categories are due to security and reliability concerns. Worries about data governance, connectivity uptime, and security all led to the early belief that the legal profession should not leverage such a risky technology.
But the internet has been a stable tool for more than a decade — and today’s cloud vendors offer better data management, encryption, and risk mitigation than the law firms themselves. The scarcity of IT talent has only contributed to the fact that law firms simply do not have the staffing power to enforce data security.
Law firms need to understand that these concerns don’t necessarily align with the facts; the cloud is equally as secure and reliable as on-premises solutions. That’s probably why the Legal Executive Institute says, “Law firms should prepare for the continued expansion of the cloud into the legal industry.”
Why the cloud?
Organizations can save a minimum of 36% in overhead costs when migrating. That’s one reason even technology-centered organizations like high-tech, manufacturing, and telecom are pushing to go to the cloud; Forbes says the push is “100% cloud” from leadership at these firms.
While law firms may be lagging, the rest of the world seems to be moving toward cloud-based infrastructures. Why are they choosing these models? The following three reasons are some of the most important motivations.
- Speed is important when an application is experiencing an influx of traffic. It is much more difficult to scale with an on-premises model. Bandwidth is easy to add in the cloud.
- Flexibility is attractive to your employees. Cloud computing allows employees to access files from web-empowered digital devices, sharing information and collaborating in real-time. This flexibility also empowers employers because the cloud is infinitely scalable, allowing the addition of bandwidth and services as your business needs change.
- Cost reduction is a substantial attractant for any firm considering the cloud. One study showed a 50% cost savings when user applications moved off-premises and into the cloud. Ernst & Young (EY) says that switching to the cloud reduces the total cost of data ownership by 30% to 40% over 10 years.
While these are three of the biggest benefits of cloud computing, we should tackle the elephant in the room: Is the cloud secure enough for legal data?
Cloud computing security
Cloud security has remained an area of concern for law firms. But the data simply doesn’t justify these concerns. According to Salesforce, 94% of organizations say their data security increased in the cloud; 91% report that the cloud made it easier to meet compliance rules.
Ironically, many data breaches occur with an inside source as the conduit. Cloud systems can limit accessibility to select parties, mitigate weak password risk, and provide 24/7/365 monitoring and mitigation should a breach occur.
Law Technology Today reports, “Although lawyers have a lot of concerns and wariness about cloud services, especially security, confidentiality, and control issues, their reported behavior about precautionary measures simply does not reflect what they express their level of concern to be.” Their latest survey shows that law firms are wildly behind on even the most basic security protocols, marking them as increasingly vulnerable to a data breach.
If your law firm is exploring cloud migration, maintaining focus on adding tools that align priorities with your organization is critical. Leveraging apps that are built with precedence for security, scalability, and performance is essential to long-term success. Unika.ai is designed to deliver just that, accelerating business outcomes without changing the tools you rely on to get work done. Built on the Microsoft Azure platform, Unika is optimized for security, scalability, powerful AI search, and seamless integration to the applications you rely on every day.
See how Unika can help your firm accelerate business outcomes. Click here to get a demo.
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