Peer to Peer: ILTA's Quarterly Magazine

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16 P E E R T O P E E R : I L T A ' S Q U A R T E R L Y M A G A Z I N E | W I N T E R 2 0 2 1 currently two thirds of the world's data isn't used, which is creating digital waste, every email, message and cat video has an impact. In addition, data centres are creating a carbon footprint that by 2030 will account for 8% of the world's energy usage. This affects everyone, including the legal world. All organisations need to be aware that if they are storing data which they are not using, it is really just sitting around using up energy. This is completely unsustainable. Organisations need to have greater visibility over their data in order to make better decisions on what to do with it, and moving data to the Cloud is a step towards being more sustainable." — Matt Watts, Chief Technology Evangelist at NetApp. "We've really worked on opportunities to minimize the carbon footprint of our operations. For example sourcing renewable energy for our data centres, improving the efficiency of our multitenant architecture, data deduplication and software improvements that give us more throughput with less hardware. As a SaaS company serving a broad community of customers we enable collective carbon efficiencies that simply wouldn't be achieved if each of our customers were to try to solve these important cyber security and resilience problems on their own." — Peter Bauer, CEO, Mimecast. Where is the legal sector heading with cloud? During the summer months, I invited firms in the UK, US and Europe to take part in some research around cloud adoption across a range of core law firm applications. There were 100 responses, from firms ranging in turnover from £18m to £1.8bn representing a combined IT budget in the region of £850m. My thanks to those who participated. There are two main findings. First, of those firms surveyed, the UK and European firms are slightly further down the path of cloud adoption compared to their US counterparts, but the gap is closing. And second, there has been a significant move towards cloud services in the last two years, no doubt fuelled in part by the challenges of the pandemic but assisted by Microsoft's licensing regime for enterprise software and the more granular approach taken by clients whose information security regime would have prevented law firms putting data in cloud services previously. Looking on a service by service basis, some results are entirely predictable whilst others are more surprising. For the firms who participated in the research, Practice Management Systems are the least cloudy service, which probably comes as no surprise: sensitive data, SaaS options arriving to market relatively recently, and an average life span of around twenty years once installed, giving ample opportunity to customise and build bespoke integrations that don't easily port into a SaaS world. Document Management Systems on the other hand are showing a more rapid move towards SaaS. Of course it helps that the leading vendors both have a preference for SaaS over on-premise, and CIOs are all too aware of the effort required to feed and water a large on-premise DMS. At the other end of the scale, several services have been largely SaaS based for some time now and show no sign of changing. These include email security, collaboration platforms, service desk and HR systems. Results are shown overleaf. Each chart represents a different service offering, with the charts on the left representing UK and European firms, and US firms shown on the right. Within each chart, the top bar shows the situation pre-pandemic, the middle bar shows cloud adoption at the time of the survey (Summer 2021), and the bottom bar shows next year's plans. F E A T U R E S

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