Legal technologists can rattle off plenty of reasons to move to the cloud, but for many law firms the jump to cloud-based technology still seems daunting. Briggs and Morgan CIO Robert Dubois tried to demystify the process Monday at ILTACON in Las Vegas, with hard-won advice on evaluating cloud services.
His first tip: focus less on the bottom line, more on agility. Cloud pricing, he said, often depends on uptime, frequency of access, or the amount of compute power used. “It’s not necessarily a cost-saver,” he said. “It’s an efficiency driver.”
Risk and security are also important considerations. Firms need to have a policy for ‘what happens if,’ he said, including whether a particular service has encryption at rest, what its backup strategy is, and what provisions it has made for disaster recovery. Service providers can also play an important role in client audits, providing detail from their internal control documentation to support the audit.
Dubois identified poor internal project management as one of the most common sources of trouble in an on-prem to cloud transition, and stressed the need to define a true start and end date for the migration, as well as having a great project manager at the firm to support the move.
Clarity, he concluded, is key when working in the cloud, where features can change overnight. Customers need to be up-front with vendors about what they need and when. “The decision points are changing,” he said. “Know what you’re trying to accomplish, what your gaps are, and what you’re willing to cave on.”
Find a full recording of the session here.