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Nigel Wright – managing director of Converge Technology Specialists: The dos and don’ts of moving to the cloud

More and more firms are investigating how the cloud can benefit them and how best to make the transition. When it comes to moving to the cloud, listening to the experiences of others is essential. Learning from their successes, and the things they’d do differently, is invaluable for shaping your approach.

I recently attended the Alternative Legal IT Conference where one of our customers, Michael McGuire from Linder Myers, gave his recommendations.

Michael has a wealth of experience, having worked in leading organisations to drive the use of technology to create greater efficiency. His experience combined with strong analytical skills and the ability to drive change, has transformed the role of technology at Linder Myers, creating greater operational efficiency and improving service delivery. Michael has transitioned Linder Myers to a cloud-based infrastructure; from on-premise, to hybrid and now to a fully hosted solution.

Here are Michael’s recommendations for moving to a cloud-based system…

Do take time to understand your current position. Where do you want to be in future? What is the best approach for your firm?

Do understand that you have options available – to move in one big step or a phased approach.

Do make sure that any supplier you work with is financially sound. This is especially important when considering hosted services.

Do check and compare SLAs, especially relating to uptime and support response times.

Do speak to other firms, get testimonials and references and speak directly to customers of any technology partner you are considering working with.

Do get IT and board-level buy-in from the outset. IT should be seen as an enabler rather than a threat.

Do educate people within the organisation about the need for change, how this can be achieved and the benefits it will bring to the organisation. The board needs to be involved and advocate the change.

Do choose a vendor who can demonstrate successful cloud project management.

Do work with a provider that understands the legal sector, knows the software that you are using and is aware of the roles and responsibilities within a legal firm. They understand lawyers.

Don’t assume a big bang is the only approach, every firm is different and a gradual move from on-premise to hybrid to cloud may be your preferred option.

Don’t forget about compliance, SLAs and due diligence.

Don’t listen to one methodology. Look at a number of approaches to find out what works best for your firm. Gain a good understanding of the options available to you.

Don’t neglect security and data protection, gain a clear explanation from the vendor of how they approach these issues.

Don’t underestimate the work required on both sides. Projects can take 3-4 months. Your firm needs a clear project manager and an advocate on the board.

Don’t forget the importance of UAT. Test, test, test is all important.

Converge Technology Specialists is the only cloud computing provider dedicated to UK law firms. Their hosted and managed IT services are used by innovative law firms to drive productivity, enable flexible working and boost growth. Converge TS works with firms throughout the UK to help plan and deliver the best-tailored approach to achieve success.

E: info@convergets.co.uk or visit: www.convergets.co.uk

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