Cloud Services and the legal industry
Firstly, when we talk about the Cloud at Hayachi Services we really mean a Secure Cloud. If your Cloud isn’t secure, don’t use it. If you want to learn more about the different kinds of Cloud, please refer to this page.
Many vendors now offer Cloud-hosted services and indeed they recommend it, from iManage to SelectLegal the ‘new’ or rather ‘latest’ versions of their solutions are the Cloud-delivered ones. It is important to speak to existing vendors to see what they can offer in this space – never presume a vendor doesn’t have a cloud offering: ask.
What does a Cloud-hosted environment mean for your law firm?
- You need an upgraded internet line for your offices to ensure it runs smoothly
- Ensure you absolutely have a backup internet line for offices, otherwise downtime will cost you a significant sum of money
- Staff need to be made aware of the internet speed recommended to use these systems from home should they wish to (e.g. with Clio and NetDocuments)
- You may wish to run virtual desktops to ensure staff do not suffer from poor internet connections (see our piece on virtualisation)
- A choice of browsers is very important to ensure you have a secure and consistent experience, particularly if you intend to use a web-store for Cloud-applications.
Considerations and solutions we recommend
Many vendors will tell you one solution or the other is ‘the best’ and oddly enough they happen to sell it. We would highly recommend using a secure cloud and we are a proud Clio partner, they are among our favourites.
Hayachi Services are however proudly vendor-neutral, and would also highly recommend Google Enterprise Cloud alongside ActionStep and would refer you to Cloudify Legal to implement this particular approach to cloud-native legal services.
Google Enterprise Cloud is a proven solution for firms as large as PWC and as small as sole-practicing lawyers and barristers. It is also an Enterprise Open Source solution and is far more configurable than Google’s major competitors. Google seamlessly integrates with Clio and other PMS.
If you have read The Law Society report on LawTech Adoption you will be well aware that some firms will ‘demo’ or ‘trial’ a solution for many months, or even years, before buying. This actually puts your firm in limbo while you build dependency on the solution you are trialling and is not recommended.
When undertaking digital transformation you should have clear specifications to review a solution against, and have the vendor demonstrate the solution through a trial in a dev-environment and with end-users (fee earners) to see if it is a good fit.
Plan thoroughly and act fast to combat technical debt and duplicate systems.
Law firms large and small need to start from the ground up when adopting Cloud technologies, even if they are from vendors you have historically worked closely with. This requires a Roadmap, considerations around risk, ROI and vendor lock-in as well.
Our clients benefit from these Cloud-native solutions:
- Document Management Systems
- Practice Management Systems
- Voice and Telephony
- Operating Systems (i.e. thin-clients which connect to virtual desktops)
- Compliance and Information Security Systems
Hayachi Services has had the pleasure of assisting international law firms on multi-million pound Cloud projects, but even within these projects it is the small-wins which are most meaningful for individuals and teams within the firms.
Approach your deployment of a Cloud-native system from the ground up – anyone can install Elite 3E (for example), but configuring it so the tools fit your culture and serves your practical needs takes expertise and regular listening exercises throughout the project.
Also note that we have mentioned a range of competing vendors within this piece – Hayachi Services will say again that we are proudly vendor neutral, and in so being consistently implement best-practice across the legal industry and across platforms rather than being beholden to one.