For law firms, the decision to adopt cloud-based legal practice management software is complex. It involves change management, business disruption, and cost considerations. Also, finding that elusive “right time” to switch to a cloud-based solution often means that the decision is placed on the back burner for “a more opportune time”.
With the current dynamic market conditions, it is essential for law firms to be comfortable with the cloud as more businesses adopt remote and hybrid operating models.
We have summarised five common challenges that law firms face when adopting cloud-based practice management solutions, along with simple ways to overcome them.
5 common challenges and how to overcome them
1. Resistance to change
Change is challenging, so it is understandable that people are apprehensive about it. The best way to deal with the resistance is to tackle it head-on and effectively communicate the reasons for change and the outcomes that follow. Cloud solutions offer law firms flexibility, up-to-date technology, access to a remote working talent pool, more collaborative and integrated systems, and additional control over data and costs.
With greater understanding and awareness of these factors, more law firm personnel will feel better about change. Also, engaging an expert transformation partner will further ensure the confidence of a transition to the cloud will be successful.
2. Competency concerns
Transitioning from familiar technology solutions to a new solution does require personnel to upskill. With this in mind, certain team members may actively promote the status quo as they are challenged with the notion of having to learn new ways of working. Reassuring the team that they’ll receive comprehensive training and support on the new system should alleviate their concerns.
3. Migration complexity
For firms that have a complex technology setup with multiple systems and relative datasets, the perceived complexity of migrating everything into another system can be overwhelming.
How difficult is migration going to be? How accurate will the data migration be? How will data from multiple systems be merged?
This exact challenge is a core skill set for many cloud providers and their systems consultants as they use their tried-and-tested data cleansing processes and data-mapping tools for migrations.
Other questions that may also arise are: What about integrations to third party systems? What about the systems you currently use, rely on, and love today – will you still be able to use them?
In most cases, moving to the cloud will simplify not just integrations, but your whole technology environment, reducing overall complexity.
4. Compliance and regulatory issues
Compliance is a crucial factor when adopting a cloud solution. Local, state, and federal governments, healthcare providers, and financial institutions are some of the sectors in addition to the legal industry that have very demanding restrictions regarding data location, retention, and security.
Undertaking due diligence when selecting your provider, reviewing client references, and reading the Terms of Service of your cloud provider for an understanding of detailed compliance and certification tests undertaken is well advised.
5. Control and cost concerns
These two cloud adoption consideration factors are intertwined. Often, IT personnel or firm administrators are accustomed to having complete control of their infrastructure, applications, data and services. They may well be concerned that a cloud-based system will reduce that control. Additionally, business leaders need to both control costs and ensure costs are predictable and repeatable. Researching these points further should alleviate concern as adopting cloud systems will likely reduce the total cost of ownership and offer firms certainty of availability of the technology for the team to perform their duties every day.
“Actionstep has been migrating law firms to the cloud for over 15 years, so our team understands the perceived and real barriers. The cloud is here to stay, and law firms that embrace it are in the best position to maintain their competitive edge.
There are a number of complexities - each with far-reaching impacts on the firm. You’re not actually buying a product - what you’re buying is the scalability of your firm for the next five to ten years - and that’s not a product you can simply buy and go live with. Neither does it mean what you go live with today will be what you need in 12 months time.
Elasticity, configurability, and an eco-system that will place you and your client together - not on the “other side” of your systems are critical to future-proofing your law firm when considering cloud adoption - real cloud, not local client installs. If you want to avoid the pitfalls, speak with us as we were born cloud from inception and have a fantastic track record in the legal industry” stated Mike McKell, Regional Director, Australia & New Zealand, Actionstep.
Follow the link for more information on the all-in-one law firm software, Actionstep.