The real challenges and benefits of cloud computing to law firms
White paper- 'The real challenges and benefits of cloud computing to law firms'
Simply put, cloud computing is access on demand via a network or the internet to services such as software functionality, computer processing and data storage. Due to the significant benefits cloud computing offers, namely flexibility, cost efficiency and scalability, it is fast becoming an attractive alternative to more traditional IT services. Alongside these benefits it also poses its own set of risks and challenges.
This white paper examines the opinions of a variety of law firms towards adopting cloud services. Furthermore it highlights the array of different cloud options and how different types of firms may take advantage of these.
We interviewed a number of individuals, each holding a senior IT position within the legal sector. They told us under Chatham House rules about their views on the type of cloud services which are most suitable for law firms, the SRA’s opinion and guidance on the use of cloud services and the steps a law firm can take to increase data security and protect client confidentiality when utilising cloud services. Perhaps unsurprisingly our contributors provided a mixed response to a number of our questions but it is apparent that issues around data security remain as one of the biggest concerns about using the cloud. Lawyers are not alone on this – nearly every survey highlights the same key concern over cloud adoption. It is important to remember that cloud providers have heavily invested in increasing the security of their data centres and infrastructure and arguably they can provide a higher standard of security than an average law firm could ever hope to achieve.
Despite the perception of the legal profession as being cautious by nature and the real concerns around data security, a large number of law firms are already, and have been for some years, utilising some form of cloud services. Further, we are seeing a rise in the number of law firms adopting cloud services and this trend is set to continue.Conversations with our contributors focussed on the key services of interest to, or adopted by, their firm and so this paper looks mainly at the use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and public and private cloud. It is worth noting that there is no generally accepted standard use of cloud terminology
although NIST has adopted some definitions...