Cloud myth #2: Lift and shift offers the same benefits as cloud native

Realizing the long-term benefits of cloud native

Strategic law firms know they must make wise technology investments that are secure, scalable, and nimble. That’s why a growing number of large and mid-size firms are making the move from a traditional, on-premises financial management system to a cloud-based solution. But, as many of these firms quickly discover, there are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing cloud technology that meets their current and long-term needs.

In a recent article dispelling common cloud myths, we discussed misconceptions surrounding cloud security and the notion that a private cloud solution provides the same security benefits as the public cloud. In this second article in our cloud-myth series, we’ll explore the topic of whether a basic lift-and-shift approach provides the same benefits as a cloud-native model.

What is “lift and shift?”

The lift and shift approach is when a software provider takes a traditional, on-premises packaged application and runs it, unmodified, in the cloud. When doing this, there is no modernization, no new technology, no updating of identity standards or security practices; just a “lift and shift” to drop the application in the cloud. This method is the quickest way for the software provider to move to the cloud because no code changes or training on new technology are needed. However, it is crucial to note that these are advantages to the vendor and not the end user — the law firm.

Disadvantages of a lift-and-shift approach

On the surface, making a move to a financial management software solution in which the provider utilized a lift-and-shift migration model may seem like the easiest and least time-consuming option. While this brings some of the benefits of a “true” software as a service (SaaS) solution — in the form of reduced infrastructure and hardware costs — the obligation of software maintenance is still on the customer rather than the provider. But on the other side of those perceived costs, law firms can quickly become bogged down by outdated systems and inflexible technology that were designed for an on-premises solution.

That’s because, with a lift and shift to the cloud, everything essentially stays the same. Since no modifications are made and no new technologies are implemented, you could open yourself up to security risks. For law firms, relying on existing legacy systems puts financial data at risk, as security technology that may have been sufficient for an on-site data center is now much less secure when applied in the cloud environment.

Ultimately, law firms that opt to choose a financial management system that was lifted and shifted to the cloud may come to view it as a band-aid approach; one that doesn’t provide the level of scalability, efficiency, reliability, and security that they — and their clients — need and demand. Given that these firms aren’t getting these benefits with a lift-and-shift solution, they are likely to implement a cloud-native solution in the future and take full advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

3E as a cloud-native solution

Cloud native utilizes modern architecture, tools, and technologies that are specifically designed to operate in the cloud. This structure enables cloud native to inherently provide highly flexible and resilient applications that adapt to meet a law firm’s needs — including those of their clients. While a lift and shift can afford law firms some cloud benefits, a robust cloud-native model like 3E allows law firms to truly realize the full potential and advantages of the cloud while easing pain points related to maintenance.

What does this mean for law firms that choose 3E for their financial and practice management solution? It means having a cloud-based system that embraces modern architecture and security practices, allowing for optimum speed, agility, scalability, and efficiency. It means faster and easier integration of new technologies and safer upgrades. Plus, cloud-native updates are automatic, meaning no unexpected or lengthy system updates or disruptions to firm operations.

Maximizing a move to the cloud

Law firms that invest in a move to the cloud are investing in their futures — and the best way to ensure that investment pays dividends for the long term is to choose a cloud-native solution like 3E. There’s a reason the world’s most innovative large and mid-size law firms trust 3E to run their mission-critical financial and practice management operations. Its integration of cloud-native technology benefits law firms by helping them be more agile and efficient while operating in a faster and more secure environment.

Discover your firm’s full potential by selecting the cloud-based solution that harnesses the full power of the cloud to provide a strategic advantage.

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Thomson Reuters 3E enables law firms to automate financial tasks, drive operational efficiency, and provide fast, proactive service to their clients