Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cloud: Why cloud adoption has reached a tipping point

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The adoption of cloud computing across all aspects of enterprise IT has increased dramatically, with increasing velocity over the last several years. The oft-raised concerns about data privacy and security have been far displaced by the massive cost savings and computational scalability offered by leveraging the cloud.

The increased efficiency driving the exponential adoption of cloud computing across enterprise are rapidly helping to move ediscovery to the cloud. The concerns and outside counsel guidelines that previously precluded cloud adoption are falling to the wayside as the computational power, cost savings and elasticity of cloud solutions entice practitioners facing ediscovery challenges. 

Drivers of ediscovery adoption 

Cloud-based solutions for corporations are increasingly a normal part of doing business (a “no-brainer,” if you will). Cloud adoption offers enterprises of any size increased security and stability, creates cost savings, and provides elastic scalable infrastructure. As previously noted, over 80% of enterprise workload is slated to be in the cloud by 2020 and over 90% of enterprises are currently leveraging the cloud in some fashion. 

Three factors have led to a perspective shift that is serving as a catalyst for cloud adoption in the legal field:

  • Highly regulated data from the financial and medical sectors is routinely housed in the cloud. Many organizations have concluded that if cloud adoption is good enough for these other industries, then why not ediscovery? 
  • Platforms like Office 365 and other cloud-based tools already host enterprise data in the cloud, prompting changes in outside counsel guidelines from corporations. 
  • Efficiencies in cloud-to-cloud data transfer have increased velocity of cloud migration in ediscovery. 

As a result, by 2018, approximately 50% of the Am Law 200 firms employed cloud-based ediscovery solutions. And this rate of adoption is, if anything, showing signs of acceleration. 

The rapid rate of cloud adoption certainly makes sense, as the cost of maintaining on-premise infrastructure that keeps pace with the volume, variety, and velocity involved in ediscovery matters today is simply prohibitive. The rigid structure of on-premise engagements (multi-year contracts and hardware procurement cycles) limit enterprise ability to rapidly scale or allocate resources as data volumes dictate. 

To keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape, to reduce time to insight, and to ensure that your organization is taking advantage of the best tool on the market, the nimble and scalable cloud solutions offered by cloud providers are hard to pass up.

Cloud considerations 

The drivers of cloud adoption and migration for ediscovery are no different than for enterprise, despite the initial lag in adoption. That said, there are some variables to keep in mind when optimizing a discovery program for cloud and evaluating the varied cloud options out there today. 

In determining whether to leverage a cloud-optimized infrastructure, here are a few considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Is this cloud deployment safe?
  • Is the deployment compliant?
  • Is this better than what I’ve already got?

Simply put, not all clouds are the same. Some solutions are safer, faster, and better than others. Before making a move to take advantage of the benefits promised by cloud deployment, it’s important to conduct the due diligence necessary to ensure that you have selected the best solution or partner.

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Cloud blog series:

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Cat Casey
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