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CAPITALISING ON THE CLOUD

WHY LEGAL FIRMS SHOULD CONSIDER HOSTED IT SOLUTIONS

October 2013

Hosted IT Solutions Designed for Law Firms


DPS Software are one of the longest standing legal IT solutions providers in the UK, catering to the needs of law firms small and large across the country.

DPSCloud is a fully-managed hosted IT solution, offering a cost-effective and scalable network hardware infrastructure and IT management strategy to your law firm. From servers to personal computers, anti-virus solutions to practice management software, we provide all things IT required by your law firm. www.dpscloud.com Page 2

General opinions on cloud computing


In their June 2013 issue, the Legal IT Insider introduced its readers to a recent study conducted by the English Law Society on the use of IT in small-to-medium law firms. The study reveals the great progress made by the industry in the last 10 years, and presented a few eye-opening statistics about the legal sector of the 1990s: - 34% of firms were still running stand-alone PCs, lacking any type of computer networks; - 51% of firms provided PCs to just a fraction of their staff; - 16% of firms werent offering any form of IT solution to their fee earners.

The legal industry has come a long way since then with forward-thinking practices embracing the latest technologies available in order to automate processes and eliminate manual, repetitive tasks. Advances in IT have made technology once only available to large organisations accessible to nearly every law firm. An example of such an advance can be found in cloud computing which brings tech benefits in costeffectiveness, ease of deployment and scalability.

The main advantages of cloud are greater business agility and flexibility. They are scalable and transcend geographical separationand support mobile and flexible working. Joanna Goodman, The Law Society Gazette We have moved very quickly from a situation of if cloud computing ever takes off for law firms to one of, when firms switch to the cloud. Charles Christian, Editor, Legal IT Insider

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Chapter 1 The myths surrounding cloud computing

Cloud computing is a very popular topic in our industry. Many providers have been keen to highlight the technologys

The transition to cloud-based computing will be disruptive to our work. Persuading people to alter the way theyve done things for years is hardly ever a straightforward task and when convincing key decision makers to make the switch and embrace cloud computing a common objection is that change will just be a disruption to their work. While minimum disturbances are unavoidable, it is the suppliers responsibility to make the transition as smooth as possible.

shortcomings if this suited their interests, sometimes exacerbating these limitations. This exaggeration created many myths, untruths that affected the image of the cloud, giving it an aura of unreliability. So here are just a few of them followed by their

corresponding counter-arguments.
The internet is not a reliable infrastructure for delivering IT solutions.

In the past this may have been true but internet connections have improved rapidly and substantially over the last few years in 4 key areas Capacity, Reliability, Availability and Affordability. High-bandwidth lines have become cheaper and more accessible and the internet service providers, operating in a hugely competitive market, now need to offer near-bulletproof SLAs to customers. My firms data wont be as secure if we move to a cloud solution. When data is being looked after by another party, its right and proper that security issues are raised but in reality hosted IT can be a more secure option.

With a bit of extra care, firms would


actually benefit from more robust security after the move to The Cloud. With DPS

There have also been concerns raised over remote working capabilities due to the availability of internet connections on the move. However, finding a reliable Internet connection is far easier than it once was.

your data is held in a secure data centre being regularly backed-up and stored offsite. You also benefit from top of the range antivirus software and 100% secure remote working capabilities.

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Chapter 2 Why should your firm be considering the cloud?

With security and reliability-related concerns eliminated, cloud-based solutions regain their appeal and relevance for the legal firm that wants to simplify its IT infrastructure and

The benefits of the cloud


The Desktop in The Cloud For most solicitors and staff at legal firms there are certain software applications that have now become essential to their working day, for example, their practice management system like DPS Outlook Office as well as document-editing

keep costs under control. So consider the


following advantages when thinking about embracing Internet-based applications and hosted IT solutions.

Focus on Legal Work The days are gone when legal firms could

programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, and Outlook for their emails.

afford to employ entire IT departments


dedicated to supporting their systems. In 2013 firms and their staff must be focused on their core legal work to achieve efficiency and growth. IT is essential but not core just like utilities in your office electricity is essential but its not likely that you own your own power plant! With your IT hosted and maintained by an external provider like DPS, your firm and its staff will be free to focus on their core legal work, achieving new levels of efficiency and client service.

With hosted IT solutions your entire desktop can be hosted on secure servers and delivered through your Internet

connection. This option will enable you to have the latest software versions

available at all times as updates are applied automatically.

Learn more about our hosted IT solution here.

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Scalability The hosted models IT infrastructure offers your firm a level of scalability beyond anything that the traditional methods can

The benefits of the cloud


range from between 99% to 99.9% uptime depending on the options selected by the client. Your data will be accessible and it will also be protected by top of the range anti-spam and anti-virus software.

deliver. At any time, user licences can be


added and as the model is charged on a per head basis increases in your fixed costs will only occur as the company grows.

Business

Continuity

and

Improved

Operational Capabilities

Business

Continuity

(BC)

has

become

increasingly important to all businesses and law firms are no different. In fact, with timesensitive processes and clients placing a lot of trust in their solicitor to deal with important matters, legal firms are amongst those businesses where a solid BC policy is most critical. Hosted IT solutions like DPSs enable you to provide your staff with remote working capabilities if weather or some other unforeseen events means they cant make it to the office. If a lot of their work is fieldbased, they can still access and work on their case files thanks to your DPSCloud solution. You can also put your trust in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) we offer which Going hand-in-hand are your with firms business disaster continuity Disaster Recovery 37% of the executives surveyed said disaster recovery had a moderate or very large effect on the decision to adopt private cloud computing. showed the Image credit: tempworks.com

Symantec

Disaster

Recovery

Preparedness Research, CRN, February 2012.

recovery capabilities which determine your firms ability to resume work after Page 8

the occurrence of an unforeseen event. Disasters are (thankfully) rare but you need to be prepared for the worst and thanks to our secure climate-controlled data centre,

The benefits of the cloud


Fixed monthly costs easy to budget At any time, but especially during a period of austerity, an element of certainty in your overheads can allow for accurate budgeting and cash flow planning.

regular back-ups and off-site storage of


back-up coupled with remote-working

capabilities, your firm has the infrastructure needed to recover should disaster strike happen.

Through DPS hosting you pay fixed monthly costs and avoid the unexpected costs that are often associated with the

Image credit: newrivercomputing.com

maintenance of an IT infrastructure.

According

to

industry

commentators,

cloud computing should be seen as an utility- a resource that while not core to

your business, is instrumental to its


proper functioning.

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Chapter 3 DPS Software Your one-stop shop for hosted IT solutions

Unlike traditional computing technologies whose pricing isnt necessarily aligned to your needs, cloud-based solutions never involve spending more than you have to. With this in mind, its safe to say the rationale for change is solid and obvious.

DPSCloud Your one-stop shop for hosted legal IT


Our DPSCloud solution allows you to have the technology you need when you need it- from digital dictation to case management software. As its cost is based on the number of users, this will increase or decrease according to your firms requirements and number of staff.

Having established this, the next step for


any firm is to identify a supplier you can trust to deliver the service you need. This is where DPS Softwares unique offering comes in to the picture.

Heres what DPSCloud offers you: Imagine the things you could achieve if you were able to avoid the distractions and occasional problems associated with

All the applications your law firm


needs- fully updated and maintainedfrom Windows, Microsoft Exchange & Office to Citrix. DPS case management, and digital legal

managing your IT in house.

accounts

dictation

software so your firm is at the cutting edge of technology. Page 11

Data management, storage and back up. As we own our data centre, you will always know where your data is stored and this will never be dispersed across different providers servers. As per Law Societys recommendations your data will

DPSCloud Your one-stop shop for hosted legal IT


A sound IT infrastructure has become crucial to the majority of successful legal practices but an increasingly competitive market demands they focus 100% on

never

leave

the

UK,

nullifying

any

compliance issues relating to data leaving the EU. Thanks to our data security expertise and capability and the measures and procedures we implement, our DPSCloud solution is a more secure alternative than an internally

their legal work. Allocating time and


resources to the continual maintenance of systems means these needs clash, but hosting allows your firm to cater to both.

managed IT system.
High level anti-spam and anti-virus software that guards your system from threats. Home and remote access to your case files from any device- 24/7. You can carry your caseload with you, wherever you are. IT management with dedicated IT staff at your service. Our help desk will monitor, manage and carry out important maintenance work on your behalf, and will The DPS IT department as a service approach answers all the technical

requirements of a law firm and builds them into a management structure that allows them to focus on their core legal business.

Our solution is characterised by: Fixed monthly costs Minimal initial outlay Scalability

support your fee earners in making a


good use of the technology put at their disposal. Page 12

Chapter 4 Case Study Stuart Miller Solicitors

Without DPS we would certainly have had a far more difficult time achieving what we have. Their software provided us with the platform we needed to both increase

Stuart Miller SolicitorsInnovative practice management in the Cloud


The firms emphasis on infrastructure, processes and procedures combined with energetic management has set up a business that has gone from strength to

efficiency and implement initiatives that


helped the firm work in the way we wanted it to work. said Director Majid Habib

strength but is set to grow further.

There are many components needed in a business for it to perform well; no one thing can guarantee success; but the combination of a DPSCloud solution and the initiatives that the partners at Stuart

Miller have employed has certainly set


them up for continued growth.

He continued:

Would you like to learn more about DPSCloud?

Taking our IT hosted through DPSCloud then made complete business sense as we implemented a cost-effective and robust IT infrastructure which carries none of the hassle that maintaining on-premise IT
Learn how DPSCloud can answer your firms specific needs and requirements Ask us all you want to know about hosted IT REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION

brings with it.

CONTACT US

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Chapter 6 Conclusions

Its not often that the IT world is unanimous about future directions but on the subject of the cloud and the move towards hosted IT this does appear to be the case.

Conclusions
It really is that simple The Cloud was a major sea change in the world of IT but this doesnt mean your firms move

Indeed, due to the impact and benefits of cloud computing, many IT experts are predicting that businesses owning their own IT infrastructure could become the exception rather than the norm in the near future.

towards it has to bring a major disruption. The Cloud is on the horizon

Move your firm ahead of the game and


take advantage of cloud computing now.

Some firms, as we have seen in the case


study focused on Stuart Miller Solicitors, are already taking advantage of hosted IT from DPS and of all the benefits that the cloud can offer. Contact us today to learn more about DPSCloud www.dpscloud.com

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION


Learn how DPSCloud can answer your firms needs and requirements Ask us everything you want to know about hosted IT solutions See our case management software in action

At DPS we have the experience to make sure this transition goes as smoothly as possible and through our one-stop-shop approach to hosted solutions for legal firms you can implement your firms entire IT infrastructure through DPS.

Call us on 0208 804 1022 Page 16