By Legal Futures Associate CTS
Since the pandemic, the importance of cloud technology has become glaringly obvious to those within the legal sector. Cloud computing technologies are enabling firms to work more efficiently, flexibly, cost-effectively, and more innovatively.
However, in addition to the technological and financial benefits of the cloud, there are many environmental benefits that law firms should take advantage of when it comes to their obligation to act on sustainability.
Reduce energy use
Energy consumption is becoming an increasingly bigger concern to business leaders due to the continuing rise of costs. Servers require a lot of power to keep them operational, from a constant power supply to cooling systems to avoid overheating, which can be particularly expensive for firms whose servers are on-premise.
Cloud computing can support your law firm to become more sustainable, efficient and cost-effective as vendors have more control of their servers by way of usage rates, scalability and resource provision.
A survey funded by Google showed that businesses could cut energy usage by up to a massive 87% when they shift from on-premise to a cloud model, with the report noting that the energy saved by moving to the cloud is reported to be able to power the whole of Los Angeles for one whole year.
Leverage datacentre efficiency
Energy-saving equipment and hardware can be expensive. Cloud providers are in a better position to use the latest technology, which is inevitably more energy efficient. Data from Google showed that although there was an increase of 550% in cloud computing between 2010 and 2018, the amount of energy used by datacentres only increased by 6%.
Datacentres are specifically built for purpose and many cloud providers have measures put in place to ensure that their datacentres are sustainable and environmentally friendly. For example, Microsoft Azure has been carbon neutral since 2012, and has committed to focus on four key areas of environmental impact – carbon, water, waste and ecosystems.
Decrease greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
On-premise hardware emits large and continuous amounts of greenhouse gases throughout its lifecycle, which includes:
- Producing materials for the equipment
- Assembling the equipment
- Transporting the equipment on-site
- Using the equipment
- Disposing off the equipment when it reaches end-of-life
Research carried out by Accenture, Microsoft and WSP found that by migrating to the cloud, large companies can lessen per-user carbon footprint by 30% and up to 90% for small enterprises.
Move towards dematerialization
Dematerialisation refers to the substitution of high-carbon, resource-heavy physical products, such as on-premise equipment and hardware with cloud-based digital services and products. Migrating to the cloud means that you can eliminate certain hardware, which reduces energy use and carbon footprint.
Cloud technology can support law firms with their ‘paperless’ journey to cut down on stationery and storage. As much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing, storing and maintaining files of information, so by ditching physical documents, you can save money.
In addition, working paper-free not only reduces waste and cuts costs but will improve your law firm’s security and safety by eliminating the chance of misplacing files or paperwork. As well as increasing document availability and ensuring secure, robust storage for sensitive information and data, allowing you to meet your security requirements.
There is no challenge more significant or urgent than embracing a more sustainable way of life and business, and the legal sector can do their part by moving to the cloud. If your law firm is seeking support and guidance on your cloud migration journey, contact us today – it’s time to talk to the law firm’s tech firm.