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Introducing an introducer: Nigel Wright, SmartLegal

25th March 2013

Cloud computing has enabled smaller law firms to gain traction quickly, without the heavy capital outlay that can rate-limit growth. Many new firms, especially spin-outs and virtual firms, are now ‘born in the cloud’, with outsourced IT central to their business model.  Yet, larger, more established firms have been equally quick to explore the benefits of cloud. The result is that cloud has added a new dynamic to the competitive landscape.

One of the key drivers is flexibility. Firms facing an unpredictable future welcome the flexibility that cloud affords.  Rapid upscale and downscale capabilities bring agility to the bigger players as much as the smaller ones. Yet, even though larger corporations have been using private clouds for a while, it is arguable that small-to-mid sized businesses can more dramatically scale their operations and outpace their larger competitors.

Though the benefits are clear, firms taking to the cloud should ask some hard-hitting questions of potential suppliers.

  • How well does the supplier understand legal?
  • Which other law firms do they work with?
  • Does the proposed solution have business continuity and disaster recovery built-in and do these meet the requirements of SRA, Lexcel, IIP or CQS?
  • And back to flexibility: is the proposed approach flexible enough to meet your needs? Firms should be aware that there are different license and service arrangements offering different levels of flexibility. For example, if you’re a business of 50 people that may grow to 65 in year 1, but then reduce down to 35 in year 2, the proposed solution needs to support this change, while you should only ever pay for what you need. Many providers don’t offer this option and you may become stuck with more ‘seats’ than you need.

If you only take one piece of information from this short article, it should be ‘check out the Service Level Agreement and T&Cs’.

For a complete overview of the issues you need to consider when looking at cloud, download your free booklet ‘The What, Why & How of Cloud: 30 Things Every Law Firm Should Know’ from www.smartlegal.it.

For further information email info@smartlegal.it Telephone: 0845 872 4400

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