In an article on the ComparetheCloud.net website about the use of Cloud services in the legal world (found here), it becomes apparent that no part of the economy is immune to the advances in technology. Lawyers, much like any other group of professionals, are subject to the same scrutiny and need for price transparency which has transformed other industries overnight. With advances in AI and the globalization of research, in many ways the legal world is being forced into the world of IT.
But there seems to be a problem;
– The reality is, the majority of effort and investment is actually being applied to building and maintaining traditional on premise or co-located IT infrastructures. These infrastructures, made up of servers, storage, and networks are expensive and increasingly complex to manage
The major law firms in the world are finding themselves in a quandary. How do they become more efficient and effective as counsel using a secure cloud environment? The reality is that the public cloud is much more secure than those held on-prem. Especially when the core business is NOT IT! The legal world will discover what most every other industry has learned…You either are disrupted or you become the disruptor.
Those who are the fastest to embrace the evolution of services will eventually be the disruptors. They will migrate to the public cloud and will procure those services in the most cost effective manner. Those who want to layer themselves into the new digital world should be looking for partners that can provide the right solutions at the right price, rather than dealing with the challenges that come from “one size fits all” options, tools they don’t need, and contracts that trap them for too long relative to their ever-changing needs.
As a former board member of the CME Group, there were few things which were painfully apparent; The IT budget becomes a ‘black hole’ for capital and resources if not managed properly. And more important, advances in technology creates opportunity for efficiency and increased Operating Margins.
Case in point would be the procurement of compute resources by enterprise organizations today. In many ways, it resembles a monopoly for pricing. The decision makers in the ‘C’ level suites, too often, are at the mercy of lower level technologists who have built virtual ‘moats’ around their job titles. How can one manage risk when they don’t understand technology on which they are becoming more and more dependent?
For those old enough to remember, the procurement of cloud services is much like that of the airline industry 30 years ago. There were only a few carriers which allowed for a noncompetitive atmosphere. Competition changed all that. The result was a cost savings for the end users with nothing else compromised. Now a low-cost airline competes directly with the big boys and usually does a better job.
The reality is that cloud services are different than the airline industry. There are issues dealing with security, and confidentiality which change the dynamic of the industry and leave board members up at night worrying. But as technology leads us to easy migration of workflows, it becomes self-evident that the cloud is a true commodity. If one were to walk into a datacenter it is surprising to learn that most all CSP’s use the same equipment. Same mother boards, same cabinets, same security. Yes, the cloud is a commodity. And as such it should be treated as one on the balance sheets and in the decision-making process of every enterprise organization. Think of it this way, when you turn on your lights at home do you care where the electricity came from? Certainly not. All that matters is that the lights simply go on. Compute resources are no different.
It’s time for those who are decision makers to understand a simple fact; IT spending will not decrease over time, in fact for an enterprise to survive it will only go higher. It is now imperative to understand and manage the fastest growing line item in the budget.
Growth can be painful but not managing risk can be deadly!