The general benefits of cloud computing are well understood by CIOs and business unit owners. That is, they can trade fixed capital (infrastructure) expenses for variable expenses, reduce reliance on IT and improve agility and speed delivery through faster deployment, onboarding and scalability. It is no surprise that CIOs are fast-tracking moving IT and data-intensive processes to the cloud, with over half migrating over 75% of applications to the cloud to better accommodate remote work while eliminating CapEx and reducing OpEx.
Here are four reasons why legal teams should consider accelerating their cloud strategy.
1. Try before you buy
Many law firms with eDiscovery practices have preferred technology solutions in place. However, in an increasingly competitive environment they often need the ability to run multiple eDiscovery solutions to align to client preferences. And legal departments cyclically re-evaluate eDiscovery purchases as part of diligence requirements during renewals, promulgated by issues such as scale and performance, or deficient features. But trialing new products can be an onerous undertaking for on-premise deployments due to the IT-intensive effort of approving and configuring systems within corporate computing architectures.
eDiscovery in the cloud mitigates the barriers to trialing new solutions and avoids the all-in approach of on-premise solutions. By testing out a single matter and increasing the volume of matters over time, law firms can align to their client’s preferred platforms more easily and legal departments can seek out products with better functionality to improve efficiency and results.
2. Scale on demand
Both caseloads and ESI volumes are growing, and can tax existing infrastructure, software and internal resources. Running one-off or select cases on demand in the cloud is one strategy for organizations with on-premise eDiscovery solutions to handle growing workload.
The cloud also enables fast spinning up of case sites, especially when they are supported by outsourced project management to load and process data to reduce reliance on lean in-house IT and litigation support resources.
Adding capacity to handle spikes in requirements also is a turnkey capability via cloud subscriptions. Subscriptions based on forecasted volumes allow legal teams to move cases around when they settle and new ones arise so they do not need to revisit contracts when case volumes fluctuate.
3. Enhance collaboration and optimize resources
The cloud also securely extends platform access to entire teams, no matter where they are located, along with people outside the organization.
There are also efficiency gains: corporate legal teams, external counsel and ALSPs have improved ability to work concurrently on the same project within the same system with enhanced process integrity and ability to complete projects on time, based on each’s area of expertise. For example, ALSPs can provide data management tasks, such as data loading and processing, to bringing in managed review resource muscle and expertise to augment the review itself.
4. Handle emerging review and analysis requirements without investing in new tools
eDiscovery is an ever-shifting landscape that requires legal teams to quickly pivot to address new requirements. For example, emerging forms of data such as chat and audio visual formats are making eDiscovery and investigations even more complex.
eDiscovery in the cloud helps to future-proof new and emerging needs because vendors are more able to deliver the functionality needed to meet emerging requirements. This is because cloud service providers offer a variety of extensions that the applications they support can tap into instead of vendors having to build capabilities from scratch, such as translation services, support for audio visual formats including speech-to-text transcription and the automated identification of images.
The benefits of cloud computing are well known but have yet to be fully embraced in the legal industry. But the cloud enhances opportunity to test alternative solutions with agility, speed and cost-effectiveness, while addressing new and emerging requirements.