Whether it's Gartner, IDC, GigaOm Research, or The Legal IT Professionals Survey, you can be certain that the question is no longer "is the cloud here to stay?" but has become, "where and for what applications should we implement the cloud first?"
Witnessing the 60,000+ attendees at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce event (where everything is cloud-based) highlighted the contrasting sentiment about cloud adoption that has historically existed between industries. The legal and financial services markets have typically been slower to adopt new technology, due to regulation and highly confidential data, amongst a number of other factors. However, according to recent reports, the winds are shifting and firms in these air-tight industries are learning about the extreme benefits the cloud brings in terms of security, flexibility, business continuity, and mobility – it's these benefits in efficiency and cost savings that are causing a tipping point for legal cloud adoption.
The recent survey released by Legal IT Professionals, written by Joanna Goodman, contains some fantastic insights into the how, where, why, and why-not's law firms are choosing the cloud for both mission-critical and peripheral applications. In addition to an insightful intro by Nicole Black of MyCase, the survey clearly points out that the legal industry's perception and adoption of the cloud continues to improve year over year. Here are some highlights:
- 52% of respondents have a more positive outlook on the cloud than the previous year
- 57% of respondents think the cloud will overtake on-premise computing within 5 years
- The "public cloud" (consumer oriented services) are not a viable option for professional purposes
- Top three benefits of the cloud are business continuity, flexibility, and mobility
The conclusion? The tide has turned and the cloud is here, yes, even for the legal industry of self-described "proud second movers".