Using Office 365? So, You’ve Already Adopted the Cloud!


Individuals and organisations alike are increasingly using Microsoft’s Office 365, which apparently is the company’s fastest growing commercial product ever. Office 365 is a cloud-based email system, so despite the raging debate on “whether or not to cloud”, many organisations have already adopted the cloud!

I can sense the “it’s only for email” response coming…… so to pre-empt it, if an organisation has its emails in the cloud, then it’s a foregone conclusion that many other critical business-related documents are in the cloud too.  Furthermore, Office 365 offers single sign-on – i.e. with one click the user has access to all Office 365 applications and productivity tools as well as mobile and on-premises applications – via the cloud. It’s a great efficiency-enhancing feature.

One can deduce that cloud computing technology in general is becoming more and more secure

It’s worth mentioning that Office 365 is already growing in use in several highly regulated industries including utilities, energy and aerospace.  One can deduce that cloud computing technology in general is becoming more and more secure; and that the business benefits it offers far outweigh the security concerns that organisations may have. After all, no single organisation can invest in security – even in on-premises systems – as much as corporate giants like Microsoft do in their datacentres.

It’s critical that law firms are able to manage and store information contextually so that it’s easily accessible and useable into the future.

Data traffic is growing incessantly from all directions – email, mobile apps, text and voice messages – and cloud-based, always on applications like Office 365 further abet such growth.
It’s critical that law firms are able to manage and store information contextually so that it’s easily accessible and useable into the future.  Especially in growing law firms where headcount is low, resources need to be fully optimised and the volume of documentation and records generated isn’t that much less (relatively) than in larger organisations – an integrated email and document management system has tangible benefits to offer.  Adopting the solution via a privately hosted cloud model makes the technology positively affordable – unlike previously when the cost of a document management solution was a luxury only afforded by the large law firms.

We at Ascertus are seeing a marked shift in law firms’ (of all sizes) attitude towards a privately hosted model-led adoption of an email and document management system.  Most of our recent installations at law firms have been hosted.  Similarly, roughly three of five corporates we talk to prefer a hosted solution.  The cost savings are far too compelling.  The cost of a privately hosted email and document management system can be up to a tenth of the cost of an on-premises implementation.

Also, it’s a misnomer that law firms wouldn’t know where their data resides in a cloud model. From our own experience, we know that our customer data resides in either Dublin or Amsterdam and we don’t co-mingle data.  The level of security is pretty tight too given that Microsoft datacentres comply with all the industry-standards and accreditations like ISO, EU Model Clauses and so on.  The back-up and high application availability is of global standard. Often, we are able to resolve problems such as disk space running out, the server going down or an error occurring without the customer even knowing at the time due to the near real-time failover service we leverage through the Microsoft datacentres.

Likewise, another common misconception among organisations is that with cloud based solutions, data can’t be accessed if they can’t connect to an Internet connection.  Offline data access is possible, which is excellent for business continuity.

a privately hosted model for email and document management solutions is a safe option offering all the benefits of cloud computing at a fraction of the cost

An infrastructural shift to the cloud is a certainty.  At an application level too, a privately hosted model for email and document management solutions is a safe option offering all the benefits of cloud computing at a fraction of the cost.

Comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *