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Law Firm IT & Technology: How to Avoid Common Cloud & On-Premises Pitfalls

Pitfall #1

Using Sharepoint as a Document Management System (DMS)

SharePoint is a great collaboration platform that can operate on-premises or in the cloud, with many business intelligence capabilities. But, it is not designed for managing documents or document control. If you want to use SharePoint as a DMS, you will incur additional costs to create a custom app or leverage third-party tools (using a developer or consultant). 

Here is some of the feedback that we received from law firms who were erroneously sold on SharePoint as a DMS:

    • It is not intuitive and it is challenging to learn
    • It is difficult to search for documents within the system
    • Document storage limitations were never made clear to me

Pitfall #2

Not knowing where your data actually lives or who owns it

This is important because there may be different compliance regulations you need to follow depending on the location of your data. Migrating to the cloud or from one vendor to another can leave you exposed to non-compliance and/or breaches.

It’s essential to find out what happens to your existing accounts and information when migrating to a cloud-based system and establishing if the new cloud provider can transfer your data in a format that it can be used within the new setup. To avoid cybersecurity gaps and migration headaches, make sure you understand your termination agreement and contract terms of your providers.

As a rule of thumb, you want your cloud solution to reflect your existing records management policies and procedures, with strict access permissions in place. 

Pitfall #3

Your firm is growing yet, all hardware & data remain on-premises

When you keep your data on-premises, you are responsible for maintaining and updating hardware which will require replacement. The costs of on-premises systems can add up due to maintenance costs and software updates. In the cloud, you have more scalability and flexibility when adding or removing resources, you only pay for what you use, and the cloud service provider is responsible for maintenance.

Pitfall #4

Choosing price over best practices

You always get what you pay for.  Do not get sucked in by a provider selling you “Cheap IT & Cloud Solutions.” Cheap IT rarely provides the critical elements that form a successful long-term cloud strategy. Cheap IT will not provide you automatic backups, disaster recovery or SLOs for uptime. If you have a breach, a good provider will not only have a good backup solution but also a strategy to mitigate your data from being sold on the dark web.  

Pitfall #5

Patchwork of cloud, vendors, and on-premises solutions

Having multiple vendors means having multiple points of failure. When things go wrong, fingers are pointed in all directions and your business ends ups suffering. With multiple vendors, it can become unclear on who owns what, accountability is lost, and everyone becomes frustrated. This puts your firm at a higher risk for overspending. 

Make sure your Managed Service Provider is providing vendor management services so there is one single point of contact. Determine if you can consolidate IT functions (to include phones) with your MSP so there is no overlap in the activities your vendor is performing.  

If your firm is finding itself toggling in-and-out of the cloud to use different applications, you were sold on a patchwork solution. We recently spoke to an attorney who was frustrated because his firm had to be out of the cloud for Zoom meetings, yet in the cloud to work on documents.

This caused major issues sharing screens during proceedings and meetings. When they voiced this frustration to their vendor, they were never given a solution or reason for this. We determined that their provider would simply not pay for a cloud-based Zoom license. 


Take your time

However big or small your firm may be, we take the time to learn about you and the nuances of your practice. We custom-tailor cloud solutions to meet your needs and plan for growth.  If you have any questions or want to explore our “Law Office – Cloud in a Box solution” we’re happy to meet with you.

At Straight Edge Technology, we offer flat-rate pricing along with personalized IT solutions tailored to your business needs. With our experienced team and comprehensive services, we’re here to support your IT infrastructure and help your business thrive. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you with your IT needs.