For some time industry pundits have been predicting that larger law firms are going to be ready for a move to the cloud from this year as opposed to investing, or continuing to invest, in their own inhouse IT infrastructures (see our blog – 2015 – The Year of the Cloud For The Legal Profession?).
At Select Legal Systems Limited we are really starting to see evidence through sales of our specialist legal practice management system LAWFUSION of larger law firms moving to the cloud. Select’s first implementation of LAWFUSION Cloud took place in 2008 and for the next 3-4 years we continued to implement our cloud option mainly for law firms at the smaller end of the market, i.e. mostly for firms with under 10 users, with the odd exception. After that we gradually started to see law firms with as many as 20-30 users choosing the cloud and this year we have started to see orders from firms with 60+ users.
LAWFUSION was originally designed for the 30-100 user law firm. However, market demand dictated different versions of the system for law firms of different sizes and Select launched LAWFUSION ‘Small Firm’ and LAWFUSION ‘Solo’ for growing firms and start ups. Today the largest LAWFUSION site has 250+ users as well as a number of sole user practitioners. LAWFUSION is also growing in popularity with ABSs (Alternative Business Structures).
The cloud option we are referring to here, also known as ‘a hosted solution’ or ‘software as a service’ is basically when a law firm chooses to outsource the hosting of their legal accounts, case and practice management software to a trusted technology partner along with the other key integrated third-party software products, such as Microsoft Office and Exchange . This means they access their software via a secure internet connection. The software doesn’t change. The only difference is how users access it and where it physically resides. The alternative is to host their software on their own inhouse hardware (servers).
Even though examples of cloud computing in its infancy can be dated back to the 1960s, the legal profession did not start to embrace it until well into the noughties when the technology had matured and concerns about security were starting to subside. Between 1993 and 2008, Select Legal’s first 16 years of trading, our clients were 100% on-premise (i.e. their software was hosted entirely on inhouse client-owned hardware). Select Legal Systems were one of the first legal software specialists to offer a cloud option for legal practice management software and the take up of LAWFUSION Cloud has grown from 4% of all LAWFUSION installations in 2008 to 70% in 2015.
Choosing between cloud and on-premise is a unique decision for every law firm. Select Legal Systems Limited offers both options. For more insight on this subject from senior executives at law firms please view Select’s online video “Cloud Vs On-Premise” here.
If you would like more information about cloud computing for law firms or the LAWFUSION legal practice management system in general – please call 01482 567601 or complete our online enquiry form now.