Cloud-based document management systems offer significant advantages, but many law firms hesitate to make the move. This quick guide offers practical steps for moving your DMS to the cloud.
With the ability to support a global firm of our size, coupled with its advanced cloud security, iManage assures our clients worldwide that their sensitive and privileged content is secured and governed at the highest levels.
iManage is the leading document management system on the market. It’s trusted by the world’s biggest law firms and provides a secure, low-maintenance cloud solution that allows us to focus on better serving our clients.
Document management is at the heart of everything we do, so we kicked off our cloud migration with iManage. We use it across the whole organization, from lawyers to the finance team, and from support staff to higher management.
Moving to the cloud offers significant advantages, but many small and midsize firms remain reluctant. Research done by Deep Analysis uncovered three key common cloud objections. Explore answers to these concerns on our interactive page.
Business technology strategies must flex with modern advancements, evolve with customer demands, and stay in step with accepted industry best practices.
But despite the ubiquity of corporate cloud migration and the overwhelming evidence of their success, certain myths and misconceptions persist.
Click through the sections below to explore.
Of all the myths that cling to cloud computing, the pervasiveness and persistence of this one is the easiest to understand. It stems from a misunderstanding of enterprise cloud infrastructure, and how it is, or should be, protected.
Modern enterprise cloud is fortified with such an array of cutting-edge defense mechanisms and incorporate such deep, layered security best practices that one of the most common reasons firms share for their decision to migrate their data to the cloud is to reduce their risk exposure.
With infrastructures monitored 24/7/365 by expert, dedicated security teams, best-of-breed network and security tools as standard, and a battalion of sophisticated algorithms continuously examining and safekeeping data at every layer, no on-premises server network can offer the same degree of protection. Even if they could, the cost would be astronomical.
So rigorously is corporate data sectioned, encrypted, and separated from data belonging to other organizations that not even the cloud service provider itself can access it.
It’s harder to divine the origin of this myth because, typically, an enterprise cloud network confers better control, not a loss of control.
At the bare minimum, the level of control an organization retains when moving to the cloud is consistent with when data was stored on-premises. If data needs to be moved or restructured, if new users and files must be added or removed, nothing changes. At all.
What does change, then?
Cloud-based applications are organic and subject to regular upgrades. These updates improve functionality and simplify user control over client data.
Moreover, various cloud services are available, so — for example — if an organization wants to keep part of its network on-premises, it can adopt a hybrid model. Ultimately, whatever level of control and flexibility the business model requires, it can be more than accommodated as part of a migration to the cloud, whatever expression that migration takes.
Like myths in any realm, this one perseveres because it contains a kernel of truth; cloud migration does require upfront expenditure. But it quickly falls apart under closer scrutiny because:
The second of these proves most compelling from a financial perspective. The fact is, on-premises server networks are expensive. They require a dedicated in-house IT team to provide round-the-clock maintenance, they take up physical space that could be used to facilitate growth, they consume large amounts of energy for power and cooling, and they must be periodically replaced.
Cloud service providers typically offer a range of flexible subscription options that cost less than a fixed infrastructure plus maintenance and upgrades. Indeed, such is the cost-saving potential of a cloud migration (between 15 and 40 percent, according to one study), that anticipated savings over time has become a primary driver for organizations that are moving to the cloud.
As recently as early 2020, there may have been some degree of truth to this, although few are anxious to be reminded of how 2020, and even 2021, unfolded.
If there is one positive for us to take away from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the dramatic acceleration in our adoption of next-generation technologies and working practices.
One study, conducted by Centrify and CensusWide, revealed that — before March 2020 — 43 percent of companies surveyed had no intention of completing a full cloud migration.
But owing in large part to the pandemic, 48 percent are now streamlining their cloud migration plans and more than a third (36%) plan on digitizing more of their processes using cloud technology. This includes your clients as well as your competitors.
Secure access to data, anytime, anywhere, that is straightforward for both staff and clients cannot be supported by an on-premises network without significant work, cost, planning, and complexity. Rather than questioning your decision to migrate to the cloud, you may well find that clients question why it’s taken you so long.
This is an important myth for us to put right, even though it favors cloud service providers. If an organization commences a cloud migration on the belief that it will all be done, dusted, and ready to go within a few days, their experience will not be a positive one. We don’t want that.
Whether you’re exploring a wholesale migration of data and solutions to the cloud or are already using some cloud-based technology, moving to the cloud should be seamless for the application that moves if the planning is done correctly. From choosing the right vendor to mapping each stage of the transition, the process must be steeped in strategy. And it is critical that your business understands the journey is ongoing.
It begins with a comprehensive assessment of the existing technology stack from which an initial migration plan can be outlined. Next comes a period of intense preparation, defining factors such as number of users, access controls, and any preferred integrations. And don’t neglect performing due diligence on potential cloud providers.
The final stage – the migration itself – is typically the most straightforward. Complete steps one and two properly, and file migration is mostly automated. This takes only a day or two for most midsize firms (which may explain the existence of the myth we are debunking). Followed by a testing phase with staff and clients, you can refine as necessary to ensure user access controls, structures, and integrations are all optimized.
So, no, the process isn’t one-and-done. But once the migration is complete, you’ll find that the abundant rewards more than justify the effort. Notwithstanding the on-boarding and on-going efforts of any organization to maximize their investments in the technology itself and the people and processes it takes in truly making knowledge work.
iManage Work 10 in the Cloud empowers knowledge workers to collaborate and be productive from anywhere, on any device, safely and securely. Book a demo and learn more about what a move to the cloud can do for you.