Deploying ERP in the cloud – it’s not as scary as you think

Blog by David Espley for Legal Futures, 20 May 2016.

Given the massive global push to take computing off premises, a move to the cloud in the legal sector is inevitable – in fact, it is already happening. We all know about the benefits of cloud – more scalability and elsaticity, reduced IT infrastructure cost, better maintenance and significantly reduced running costs. Crucially, security is better too.

Next generation applications in the cloud

Analysts today are more or less unanimous in predicting that cloud computing will provide the technology foundation for businesses in the near future. According to Forester, we are on the verge of the second wave (application-focused) of cloud computing and we will increasingly find cloud providers focusing on the provision of next-generation applications in the cloud.

The legal sector must partake of this opportunity. The financial services sector – one that is heavily regulated, is fundamentally conservative and for who security is paramount – fully recognises the value of cloud computing and even has confidence in its offer. A recent study shows that 50% of businesses in this sector have migrated one-quarter to half of their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

As law firms revisit the suitability of their existing business systems on premises as well as explore more cost-effective alternative IT infrastructure options, serious considerations to both enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the cloud make business sense.

This is an opportune time to view infrastructure holistically and strategically. For instance, rather than individually ‘lift and shift’ practice management, time and billing, expense management systems etc to the cloud; a single ERP system that encompasses all the business functionality is a far more cost-effective option.

Also, it eliminates the problems of integrating multiple proprietary systems that have long beleaguered firms and prevented them from successfully creating a seamless business environment across the organisation.

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