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Law firms: escape private cloud and the perils of vendor lock in

Firms in the UK legal sector can find themselves bound to long-term rolling IT contracts, often characterised by private cloud arrangements, and with limited opportunity for improvements during their terms.  In such scenarios, the law firm, or barristers’ chambers, may wish to leave these arrangements, but at the same time fear the risks, costs and effort of moving on.

One of the biggest concerns is that a move in suppliers may create gaps in service, or inconsistency in data availability, impacting the ability for the firm to serve clients, limiting their credibility, and in extreme cases leading to reputational damage.

Does all this sound familiar? Then please read on. Here are some things for you to consider:

  • If you are beholden to a provider operating from the private cloud, you are at a disadvantage in these fast-moving times. Your firm cannot be truly agile. It’s difficult for you to customise your business model to convert new opportunities. You are dogged by a sense of risk that your provider holds the keys to much of your kingdom, or that your systems have grown to such a complex state that it’s a challenge to identify which provider delivers which element of the service. 
  • There are different routes and journeys from private to public cloud. Take time to research and think about the right route for you and your close stakeholders, whether that’s fellow partners in a law firm, or your fellow barristers and the legal professionals who work alongside them. For example, moving providers doesn’t have to be a stress-ridden big bang. In many cases, working out a plan for what’s most important to the business and beginning to shift those items to the public cloud over time is a better approach. 
  • The public cloud really works now. Access to the public cloud means you can flex, scale and pivot with relative ease and freedom, certainly compared to those firms locked into private cloud agreements. You now have access to the same technology as the biggest and most advanced companies in the world. Your limitations are more likely to be how to use this power to its best advantage, which is a ‘high quality problem’, compared to being stuck with suboptimal systems and service agreements, while your clients’ businesses, and the world around you, move on. 
  • You’ll save on total cost of ownership, too. With your key assets in the public cloud, and more to follow, you can start driving down costs through close monitoring of licenses and reserving compute capacity in advance. You may wish to consider moving to a utility model, whereby you only pay for what you use, or moving away from multiyear contracts to monthly or pay-as-you-go models. Rather than living with fixed costs, the public cloud provides dynamic sizing, enabling you to scale up or down the service as demand changes over time.

Talk to Doherty Associates about freeing your firm from private cloud arrangements and accessing the power of the public cloud.

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