While it’s hard to quantify exactly how many lawsuits are filed each year, the demand for legal services could be a good indication as to how massive the market is. According to a report from The Business Research Company, the global legal service market is on track to grow from $849 billion in 2017 to over $1 trillion by 2021. That’s a staggering figure. While there are many factors fueling this growth, developments in legal technology that enable law firms to be more productive, offer more innovative services and improve the quality of those services is a key driver. However, delivering legal technology to professionals in an efficient and secure way has been a challenge, particularly because many firms don’t have the IT expertise or budgets to do so. Enter cloud desktops, or cloud-based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as it is commonly referred to.
Why law firms need cloud desktops
The legal industry faces many unique challenges, from information security and compliance to an increasingly mobile workforce – and a bunch in between. Deploying legal technology through cloud desktops enables organizations to meet these challenges head on in several ways.
- Security and compliance – Just about every piece of information legal professionals deal with is highly confidential. That makes law firms a prime target for hackers. In fact, according to a recent report, 40 percent of law firms have been hacked without their knowledge. This not only costs a ton of money to recover from, but damages the firm’s reputation. By deploying legal technology through cloud desktops, all data is centrally stored in a cloud data center, not on vulnerable devices. In addition, Google Cloud provides security at every level of the stack and is highly compliant, and itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS) enables even the least skilled administrators to easily apply granular security policies and best practices.
- Remote/contract workers – Legal professionals are constantly on-the-go between multiple offices, the courthouse and home. Simply put, they need on-demand access to critical information from the multiple devices they use. Not only that, law firms frequently hire contract workers to assist when caseloads fluctuate. With an end-to-end IT infrastructure management solution like itopia CAS, IT administrators can provide legal technology to all workers by easily spinning up new virtual desktops and turnig off ones that are no longer needed from Google Cloud.
- Costs – As with any industry, law firms are under pressure to reduce IT costs. With cloud desktops, firms can eliminate capital expenditure on hardware required to run virtual desktops. In addition, features in itopia CAS like Server Uptime scheduling and Autoscaling enable firms to reduce infrastructure costs significantly. Google Cloud’s per-second pricing and Custom Machine Types, which enable administrators to attach only the RAM and CPU resources they need, enables firms to cut costs even further.
- Performance – Legal professionals deal with extremely large files daily and can’t afford to wait for those to download due to limited bandwidth on a private network. By leveraging Google Cloud’s state of the art global network, those documents can be transferred and downloaded—especially for remote workers—quickly, saving precious time and money. In addition, itopia enables you to create a VPN from your on-premises environment to Google Cloud, and also extend your existing Active Directory domain to multiple Google Cloud datacenters for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Legacy, on-prem VDI solutions are expensive and extremely complex to deploy and manage, and most law firms simply don’t have the IT staff to implement and manage these environments. Besides, on-prem VDI requires a serious upfront investment on hardware infrastructure, and traditional VDI platforms constantly need to be updated to newer versions. By deploying legal technology through cloud desktops—managed by itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS)—law firms can get all the benefits of VDI at a significantly lower cost and with better security and performance. Perhaps more importantly, legal professionals can focus on their core business rather than managing IT. Legal services is a super competitive market, after all.