By Mohamed Bakeer, Chief Technology Officer at Legal Futures’ Associates CTS
The previously cautious legal sector are now the ones who are creating a demand for SaaS products as they migrate from their core legacy systems to reap the benefits of cloud-based solutions.
When it comes to Case and Practice Management (CMS and PMS) solutions, there are several pieces of software on the market that are soon-to-be legacy applications. This means that it’s the opportune time for many law firms to transition to an off-site cloud environment as they adopt their new software.
However, many firms are still hesitant to move their core systems to the cloud since it is a massive, and sometimes disruptive, procedure. Particularly for larger law firms who have entrenched systems used by thousands of employees, moving millions of pieces of data to a new application, alongside training 2,000 users, can be extremely demanding and high-risk.
Despite these concerns, it is evident that the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to leaving your end-of-life software behind. Learning to use new applications can be tedious, and installing a new infrastructure is a real investment. However, holding onto outdated technologies can actually increase costs, decrease business efficiency, hinder flexible working opportunities and create software incompatibility issues.
High operating costs
London-based law firm, Seddons Solicitors, have put growth, efficiency and cost-cutting at the forefront of their three-year strategy. Working with CTS and optimising cloud-based solutions enabled them to reduce costs significantly whilst simultaneously improving business productivity.
Seddons’ Chief Operating Officer, James Temple, says: “Our new model removes the burden of managing infrastructure in-house. Historically, we had dedicated resources focused on keeping the lights on. Going down this route means that we can allocate those resources elsewhere, to more important tasks that add real value to the business.”
Rather than dedicating a large portion of your IT budget to maintaining legacy systems, making an investment in new tech and switching to a more manageable pay-as-you-go model would help you to cut costs and facilitate development.
Poor performance and reliability
Rather than misspending time and money on trying to make their old software systems function, O’Neill Patient heavily invested in developing their technology strategy, optimising Lexis Visualfiles to improve their business efficiency, and ultimately, their clients’ experience.
By fully optimising their cloud-based CMS, and transferring maintenance responsibilities over to a third-party, ONP’s IT departments were able to focus their resources on business value projects, which have allowed them to advance quicker and therefore, be at a competitive advantage.
Firms must invest in implementing newer, innovative software instead of relying on legacy systems that are at risk of experiencing poor performance and irreparable breakdowns, which can threaten loss of intellectual property, reputational damage and diminished client trust, threatening the firm’s very future.
Limitations to flexible working
In comparison to cloud-based solutions, on-premise legacy systems are very limited in what they can offer regarding flexibility, security and scalability. According to Briefing’s Legal IT Landscapes (2018), 62% of law firm leaders would like to enable their staff to work from home, or remotely, on a regular basis. With cloud services, legal professionals can now access intuitive software, anytime and anywhere, being able to access important files, applications and communication tools outside of the office, keeping in constant contact with both colleagues and clients.
Rather than expand their ageing infrastructure, BTO took the opportunity to modernise their IT and move to a ‘cloud first’ strategy to better achieve their aims. By utilising cloud technology, the firm could become more agile in their approach, whilst benefitting from increased data security.
No stranger to benefiting from cloud-based services, all of Seddons’ IT services are now server-free on-premises and wholly cloud-based, which has allowed them to deliver the firm’s strategy around agile working.
“As part of our migration to CTS, we moved to a new Citrix desktop, which is not only faster than the thick client it replaced, but also offers a consistent experience wherever you are in the world. This comes with less burden on the firm from a support and maintenance perspective.”
In just under two years, Metamorph’s overall headcount has increased by a whopping 234% – from 130 to 435 – as they acquired Linder Myers in 2016, BPL Solicitors in 2017 and Terry Jones in 2018. However, along with this market consolidation came the matter of integrating three IT systems, ultimately with the aim of working from just the one IT platform.
In order to successfully achieve this objective, Metamorph have moved all of their IT systems to the cloud, and gradually transitioned all of their users over to LexisNexis’ CMS, Visualfiles.
CTS has been involved in the majority of Metamorph’s IT integration strategies – and has become even more heavily involved as the firm works toward the single IT and CMS platforms, which will support the firm’s wider business objectives to continuously grow and expand.
To discover more about how Metamorph left behind their old systems in favour of new, integrable software, beneficial to their rise within the legal sector, read the case study here.
Firms who have chosen to invest in the cloud are now exploring the variety of options that are on offer to them. When considering your migration to SaaS, there are several key areas that need to be taken into account before choosing the right vendor that will be capable of meeting your firm’s needs.
To discover what factors you need to consider when planning your transition, read our eBook here.