The benefits of privately hosted systems are many – ability to scale up or down, technical support, cost-effectiveness and business continuity. I’ll steer clear of using the term ‘cloud based’ because it’s become a highly emotive and suspiciously regarded term by the legal market.
However, there’s commercial merit in using a hosted systems supplier, not necessarily for production systems’ environments, but as a suitable, alternative solution for non-production environments, such as test, development, archive and training. By selectively locating these ‘other’ server environments on to a hosted platform; and outsourcing the maintenance of business solutions (i.e. document management, CRM, practice management, etc.) to an external, securely administered platform of remote data centres (e.g. Microsoft Azure) – law firms can reduce costs and improve efficiency.