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Move to the cloud for cost predictability, not savings

Paul Walker

Cost predictability, not cost savings, is the real incentive for law firms today to move to the cloud and should be a primary consideration for CIOs building their business case.

This concept of choosing cost predictability over cost savings actually has several historical echoes in the tech world, several of which I point to in “Cloud Is About Cost Predictability, Not Cost Savings,” an article that appeared recently in Lawyer Monthly.

In the article I offer the example of how, when free audio downloads and video streaming became available a couple of decades ago, problems with piracy quickly followed. But the value of the service to consumers was indisputable, and a subscription model soon evolved to enable access to high-quality content at an acceptable, predictable cost.

Behold, a similar shift in mindset

That shift in mindset — the consumer’s amenability to paying an appropriate and predictable cost in exchange for access to a valuable service — now exists around cloud computing. 

The question, then, for firms contemplating the move to the cloud, is how to ensure that the service they receive remains valuable, and the cost remains appropriate and predictable?

Several factors come into play, including how to understand the cloud offering and its pricing model, how to get the best usage out of the new features gained, and various ways to monitor and assess the added value cloud brings to the organization.

Predictable cost, worthwhile value

Ultimately, while there is a cost to move to the cloud, the cost is predictable and provides worthwhile value. While the costs of maintaining an on-premises solution may be comparable they are less predictable — and the value of the service may become increasingly harder to justify.

Learn more: You can read more from me on this topic in “Cloud Is About Cost Predictability, Not Cost Savings,” published by Lawyer Monthly.

About the author

Paul Walker

Paul Walker is a Technical Director at iManage. He has over 20 years’ experience within the Legal and Accounting Technology sectors, having previously worked for PwC, Slaughter and May, Autonomy Inc and Hewlett Packard.

Paul has worked with the majority of the top 200 law firms in Europe, all the Magic Circle, the Big 4 Accounting firms and dozens of large corporates including (BP, Barclays, Shell, BBC, Rolls Royce etc.).

Paul has extensive development and technical skills but has for the last 8 years moved into delivery and subject matter expert roles, advising clients on a number of topics across Document Management, Knowledge Management, E-Disclosure and broader Information Governance. Paul is currently EMEA Technical Director for iManage.