Just a few years ago, law firms could have presented a long and mostly defendable list of reasons for their hesitancy to move to the cloud. Cost, security, and other issues caused many of them to take a justifiably cautious approach.
But today’s cloud is different. The security and cost issues that were, at one time, the cloud’s biggest question marks are now two of its strongest benefits. In addition, all of the benefits that made the cloud attractive from its inception—collaboration and remote access, among others—have only expanded in functionality, value, and relevancy. This is especially true in the current, largely stay-at-home, working environment.
While some firms have eagerly adopted the cloud, others are still ambivalent. But the reasons for adopting or not on both sides of the conversation seem to have changed. What are the forces that accelerate a firm’s adoption of the cloud? And what are the inhibitors? Let’s take a closer look.
Accelerators to cloud adoption
There can be any number of forces that move a firm to transition to the cloud. Here are some of the most common:
- Client responsiveness: Clients have made their preference for using technology for communication and collaboration with their law firms well-known for some time. Their willingness to embrace the cloud has almost certainly made a difference in law firm discussions about whether to make the move or not.
- Enhanced security: As mentioned at the top of this post, the security offered by today’s cloud-based solutions is a significant contributor to firms’ decisions to take the leap. Especially in light of the increasing threat of ransomware attacks, firms are considering every available option to protect critical data.
- Remote solution: Particularly in the current environment, the ability of lawyers and support staff to access tools and information from anywhere is absolutely essential. Many firms have looked to cloud-based solutions to keep their firms connected when people need to be away from the office.
- Long-term strategy: Forward-looking firms are purposeful about strategic planning and what their technology needs might look like five or more years down the road. Many of these firms are including a business cloud strategy in their future plans.
- Part of a platform: Practice management platforms help to streamline processes and give all stakeholders immediate access to the up-to-the-minute information they need to do their jobs. With many of these platforms having a built-in cloud component, some firms are finding it to be an easy gateway to a complete cloud transition.
Inhibitors to cloud adoption
On the flip-side of the accelerators are a collection of sometimes powerful inhibitors that can stand in the way of a firm’s efforts to move to the cloud. These inhibitors often include the following:
- Short-term strategy: In the process of working through a particular issue, some firms might prefer a more immediate solution—even if it means one that isn’t permanent. Cloud-based solutions are generally part of longer-term plans.
- Lack of leadership buy-in: When influencers and decision-makers don’t see the value in a solution—or at least don’t see it as a priority—it can hinder the progress of even the most worthy initiatives.
- Resistance to change: Even when presented with a superior solution, there are always people who are satisfied with things the way they are. In situations like these, it can be challenging to create the momentum needed to start a conversation.
- Budgetary limitations: In some cases, the question of whether or not to proceed with a move to the cloud will simply come down to money. For firms that are operating with already tightened budgets, the lengthy path towards a visible ROI may make for an uphill battle.
Make your case for a move to the cloud with confidence
Law firms that invest in a move to the cloud are investing in their futures —and in today’s environment, the benefits a cloud-based practice management solution can provide to any law firm are irrefutable. Whether as part of a plan to ensure preparedness for a future crisis or to enable greater efficiency, productivity, and collaboration across the firm (such as lawyers and IT professionals), there is no better time to explore a cloud-based solution like 3E. The world’s most innovative large and mid-size law firms trust 3E to run their mission-critical financial and practice management operations.
To learn more about making a cloud transition, read our white paper, Changing the mid-sized law firms’ leadership mindset to accelerate cloud adoption.