Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

42 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022 identified, assessed and controlled. It is the firm’s partners, the regulators, who will look to when things go wrong. Ensuring a Smooth Transition So, how can firms better ensure a smooth transition to the cloud? There are a few key considerations that firms can take into account on their journey: • Getting the pricing right. It is important to ensure that the cloud environment that is quoted equates to the price paid once the firm has migrated to the cloud. If IT and cloud providers miss out on sizing the environment correctly, for example, the firm can end up paying significantly more than they budgeted for. Once the firm has migrated into a cloud platform it is not easy to back out, so it is critical to get some guarantees around costs beforehand. • Finding a matching partner. Choosing a provider does not always mean picking the one that is cheapest on paper, but the one which really understands the sector. That will ensure they can start to recognise the needs of the businesses and what, if any, legacy systems could act as barriers to moving. One size does not fit all when it comes to the cloud and every firm is different in terms of its application stacks, such as CMS or dictation or document management. It is therefore also important to consider which cloud platform is the right one – be it public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud – for each firm specifically. • Going through the right testing. Testing the platform and applications before going live is essential to prevent issues around user experience and systems’ performance.. Issues might not necessarily be spotted through only a few people testing in an ad-hoc, which is why a documented and thoroughly detailed testing plan should be in place. It is also important to ensure a clear fail-back plan is in place should something go wrong during migration to a cloud platform. • Spending time for licensing. It is worth spending time looking at licensing, particularly around the Microsoft stack. Microsoft makes regular changes to licensing, particularly around cloud-based services; some small adjustments can deliver significant savings within a cloud estate. It is also worth noting that many organisations unintentionally double up on licensing, particularly when using Azure and Microsoft licensing together, which means savings of up to 80% are possible. • Supporting the legal software. It is important to talk to the legal software vendors as early as possible to check that they will support the application stack in specific cloud environments and configurations. Legal software is often problematic due to being badly written, ancient, or because it has poor support, so firms want to ensure they have their vendors on side as soon as they can to avoid any issues. Moving to the cloud is more available and MOVING TO THE CLOUD: OPPORTUNITIES AND PITFALLS cost-effective than ever before. It also provides an opportunity for law firms to simplify their IT estates and systems, providing a fresh start, plus hopefully removing the traditional upgrade cycle they have learnt to avoid. When done right, moving to the cloud provides firms with a flexible, future-proof, robust, productive and secure IT platform at a sensible cost. Robert Rutherford is an IT industry leader with over 24 years of experience working with IT and business systems. He leads QuoStar by providing strategy and vision for the business whilst also remaining active with clients, providing insight and solutions for their various business challenges and opportunities. QuoStar is a full-service IT provider that delivers fully managed IT support, consultancy, co-sourcing and cloud services alongside a range of other offerings for businesses with 50 to 1500 staff. QuoStar has a track record of helping mid-sized law firms to grow and gain a competitive advantage by delivering specialist IT support, consultancy and security services in the sector. Once the firm has migrated into a cloud platform it is not easy to back out, so it is critical to get some guarantees around costs beforehand.

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