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Why Your Sector is Moving to the Cloud

The last 18 months have seen a shift in the way businesses operate. Affecting how they function on a day-to-day basis, there’s an emphasis on the importance of how technologies can create higher levels of efficiency in work environments. Echoing this, Twilio found that 97% of decision-makers said the pandemic has sped up digital transformation […]

The last 18 months have seen a shift in the way businesses operate. Affecting how they function on a day-to-day basis, there’s an emphasis on the importance of how technologies can create higher levels of efficiency in work environments. Echoing this, Twilio found that 97% of decision-makers said the pandemic has sped up digital transformation at their company. As many sectors turn to cloud-based solutions for enhanced security, cost savings, improved efficiency and more, we look in more detail at the legal, finance and third sectors to pinpoint why they are making the move and how it is benefiting them.

 

Legal

COVID-19 is still a huge challenge for the legal sector. Due to the pandemic, there has been a change in the way court cases are now conducted, with an increase in the amount of telephone and video hearings. It has also negatively impacted the sector financially, with those in the legal profession having experienced the toughest financial year in 2020 since the 2008 crash. The implications of this are huge, as it has resulted in delays in everything from partner promotions to intake processes. To combat this however, there many advantages to moving to the cloud that take these factors into consideration. It is vital to enable staff to work collaboratively and deliver client’s needs whilst fully protecting the sector’s three major types of data: email, files, and applications. Taking advantage of cloud-based solutions increases efficiency and means firms can implement company wide software changes instantly, even when staff are remote working.

 

Key Benefits

Keep up with clients and create better experiences. Clients are relying on technology now more than they ever have, with it fast becoming a necessity. As clients become more familiar and reliant on technology, legal professionals need to be ready to adapt to their client’s evolving their needs. Using cloud-based communication technologies such as Microsoft Teams enhances communication with clients in an efficient way. This in turn creates better client experiences as businesses are readily available as and when they are needed. The advantage of adopting cloud-based solutions also results in a paperless workflow, creating a better and clearer record of communication where clients can see costs, fees and more.

Increase security and deter cyber threats. One of the biggest challenges of COVID-19 was adapting to remote working. Besides the initial logistical complications, it has also opened businesses in the legal sector up to more cyber threats. Moving to the cloud can help this. Implementing a sound cyber security strategy and processes is considerably easier when there are experts on hand to advise and guide. Infrastructure is managed by cloud vendors and stored on remote servers giving them responsibility and protecting businesses.

Maximise returns. Whether a business operates with billable hours or a fee structure, migrating to the cloud is an effective way to maximise returns. Working within a more effective platform increases time efficiency resulting in a bigger return on investment. Alongside this, any infrastructure maintenance or repairs are often carried out by the cloud vendor at no extra cost, reducing negative impact on a law firm’s bottom line.

Increase storage and capacity. As the client list of a law firm grows, the need to increase storage and capacity grows also. With cloud-based services in place businesses have the flexibility to add extra bandwidth and storage as needed, enabling them to meet client’s demands. The convenience and ease to scale virtual machines up or down, save time and cause little disruption to day-to-day functions.

 

 

Finance

Some of the challenges for those in the finance sector include the possibility of data breaches, keeping up to date with regulation changes, ensuring that consumers expectations and needs are met, having a competitive edge, and staying technologically ahead of the curve. The banking and finance industry financed 1.63 million businesses in the UK through government-backed COVID-19 scheme, contributing more than £75 billion. From high street banks to the FinTech start-ups, there are many reasons why the financial sector is benefiting from cloud transformation.

 

Key Benefits

Increase speed for new products and services. UK consumers are demanding more access to financial services technology. With the closure of many high street bank branches during lockdown, the amount of online banking users increased by almost 25%. Situations such as this demonstrate the speed needed to implement and deliver online services, and cloud-based services can help provide this. Cloud providers can also assist with the testing of new products and services, overcoming any potential issues to deliver them. By speeding up the development of new software products, businesses within the financial sector can get ahead with technology to gain the competitive edge they need.

Scalability. As businesses grow in tandem with the needs of their customers, businesses that have moved to the cloud can more effectively scale to accommodate applications as and when needed, meeting the changing demands of consumers. Alongside this, large temporary projects can be carried out without causing any disruption or downtime. The convenience of scalability through implementing cloud infrastructure means internal IT teams are freed up to focus on strategic projects, rather than managing infrastructure.

Cost savings. There are many cost benefits to migrating to the cloud, obviously a key factor for businesses in the financial sector. With fewer upfront investments and predictable monthly costs, businesses are able to manage their cash flow more effectively.

Faster products and services for customers. The launch of new technologies can greatly enhance customers’ experience. Services such as online banking are increasingly in demand to perform to a high standard and provide an efficient service and platform. This is particularly beneficial for start-up and growing businesses giving increased business agility. Cloud migration means IT teams have more time to focus on strategic developments and ensure their products and services are as fast and efficient as possible.

Enhance security. With 70% of UK financial sector firms having suffered cyber-attacks in 2020, the ease of securing and recovering data stored in the cloud is a huge benefit. Protecting data is top priority as operating without it can become costly and time consuming for financial institutions. Choosing DRaaS products like Zerto will provide continuous protection of your information, files and applications within the cloud, providing peace of mind that businesses are protected from losing access to critical applications and data.

 

 

Third Sector

With charities and third sector organisations often operating outside of the traditional working hours it is important to have solutions that can accommodate this effectively. With a need to adapt and quickly respond to emergency situations, third sector organisations need technology that will benefit and enable the important work they do. With online donations rising 97% in last 12 months, secure and easy-to-use platforms for this are now essential. Many charities and third sector organisations are seeing the benefits of digital transformation and migrating to the cloud – with 93% of funders regarding spending money on technology as an impacting investment. Challenges still face the third sector with increasing pressures to boost donations, keep up to date with technology whilst safeguarding data as a top priority.

 

Key Benefits

Increase resiliency. With work that is so critical, access to data and system is vital and relying on physical servers is not an option. Working with a cloud provider that understands the importance of their work helps adds to the reliability of the platform and service used. Staying online and ensuring high availability can be achieved through the cloud with minimum downtime and guaranteed SLAs. Working with a team of experts can help organisations deliver an efficient, high-level platform, enable areas for opportunities and alleviate some of the pressure charities are under to continually increase donations.

Ensure security. With systems containing sensitive information, implementing a cloud-based service means data is secured to the highest level. Extra peace of mind is given by storing information in a centralised area, rather than relying on individual machines and devices. Furthermore, data and applications are both stored on virtual machines situated in data centres that have the highest levels of security.

More flexibility and gaining time to work smarter. Removing the complexity of an on-premise environment means simply adding new licences if an organisation grows. Upgrading or replacing servers or software will more than likely require a specialist team, creating additional costs that can be removed by transitioning to the cloud. With the ability to produce smarter workflows through automaton teams are given back valuable to focus on what matters most, increasing donations and awareness.

Adaptability to remote working. As many charities continue to work remotely or adopt a hybrid working model, implementing services and products that can complement this and create easier ways to communicate is key. Platforms such as Microsoft Teams remove the barrier of remote working and keep workforces in touch and collaborating. With many users needing to access the same documents, the cloud enables these to be hosted in a centralised place, meaning errors are less likely to occur. The collaboration seen traditionally in the office can now be replicated and facilitated in the cloud.

Cost saving. For a sector that heavily relies on donations from the general public, the last 18 months have been a particularly tough time. Still feeling the repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020/21 saw a drop in the amount of people that gave to charity. With this in mind, it is important for charities and third sector organisations to keep costs down to a minimum. Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure can be cost that can be difficult for this sector to absorb, suffering as they often do with a lack of resources and finances. Implementing cloud-based services eliminates this and gives predictable monthly costs. Due to the hardware being the responsibility of the cloud vendor, internal IT teams no longer need to worry about managing and maintaining that hardware. The European Commission estimates that migrating to the cloud can result in a 20% to 50% reduction of total IT costs, due to reduced IT infrastructure investment and lower ongoing maintenance costs.

 

Whether you are in the legal, finance or third sector, choosing a cloud supplier that is reputable, is ISO27001 accredited, has enhanced security solutions and is clear what is needed for you is a key step for ensuring success both now and in the future.

 

 

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Article by:

Stevie-Jay Taylor

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