4 Ways Legal CIOs Can Lower Risk and Enable IT Transformation with DRaaS

By Daniel Lassell posted 06-08-2017 16:09

  

The digital transformation of a law firm starts with lowering risk. Today, law firms are under unprecedented pressure from clients and auditors to implement and prove effective IT capabilities. This pressure is driving more firms to offload their IT disaster recovery (DR) process to Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) vendors.

We’ve listed four key benefits of DRaaS below that can empower IT transformation within your law firm:

  1. DRaaS Drives Efficiency for Your Law Firm

Tired of your IT team struggling to keep IT systems available for critical business operations? A DR strategy aims to relieve this stress, but sometimes lack of planning, resources and testing can render it inadequate. You deserve a DR strategy that can meet your success requirements. With DRaaS, you can implement data recovery that suits the unique requirements of your law firm.

There are three types of DRaaS: Self-Service, Fully-Managed and Assisted. In the Assisted model, the provider gives you a set of DR resources and acts as an advisor as you perform the implementation, testing and maintenance on your own. For the Self-Service model, you get the tools for DR, but are completely on your own.

In the Fully-Managed model, a team of recovery experts are responsible for the entire lifecycle of your DR strategy, which includes performing the implementation, testing and management on your behalf. This model frees up time for your IT team to focus on other, more pressing initiatives. A good DRaaS provider that offers this model should make you feel like purchasing their services has expanded your IT team exponentially.   

  1. DRaaS Enables Firms to Lean More Aggressively on Technology with Robust Security

With highly sensitive client data that, if breached or corrupted, could compromise legal proceedings, it’s no surprise why intruders target law firms with cyberattacks. A DRaaS provider can serve your law firm with comprehensive measures to encrypt data both at rest and in transit. You hold the key. In addition, an Assisted or Fully-Managed model will constantly monitor your DRaaS environment for any signs of intrusions or unwarranted access, so that your data remains untouched. This may not always be the case for a Self-Service model.

The time and confidence gained by knowing your data is secure allows your lawyers to meet and exceed client expectations. You will always retain complete control over your data with whatever model you select. With some vendors, you may also receive access to real-time analytics of your DR environments and the ability to make changes to where you provision your data at any time. This ensures your critical, sensitive information stays securely in your hands.

  1. DRaaS Enables the Retention and Acquisition of Clients with Increased IT Availability

Keeping your law firm’s data secure is one thing. Keeping that data accessible for continued use is a whole new step toward legal efficiency. Your clients depend on you to be available for counsel whenever needed. Your regulators expect the most robust security. DRaaS can empower both, since vendors can tailor their solutions to those needs. Want to recover data within seconds to minutes? Done.

Qualities like security and availability drive your firm’s reputation in the legal industry, which enables partners to acquire new clients and retain existing ones. For people looking to place their trust in a law firm, a good DRaaS provider will confirm confidential and proactive service.

  1. DRaaS Helps Satisfy Compliance Requirements for Insurance Coverage

If you’re receiving pressure from auditors or clients to provide proof of effective disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities, a DRaaS provider acts as a reliable third-party source for this evidence.

Some DRaaS vendors offer SaaS platforms for stakeholders to view real-time analytics of their DR plan to be sure all resources are adequate. Want proof of successful tests? These SaaS platforms should also enable you to download testing results (current and historical). A good DRaaS provider will even go so far as to sign every completed test with your IT team, so that you have written proof of successfully-executed scenarios for stakeholders.

Proof of compliance enables insurance coverage, whether it’s an enrollment or renewal. How well you can provide evidence of robust data protection often determines how much you’ll save on the costs of this coverage.

Conclusion: Give DRaaS Providers Hard Questions to Select the Right One

Your law firm deserves assurance that IT operations will continue, no matter the event. When you mitigate the risks that stifle business continuity, you also enable your partners to compete in the industry. You empower their ability to gain and retain clients, which ensures the future of your firm.

Since your firm holds itself to the highest standards of security and client confidentiality, it’s critical to vet DRaaS providers exhaustively. When selecting a DRaaS vendor, find one that will share your same commitment to IT resiliency. Here are a series of questions to ask:

  • What services, processes and tools does the provider offer to ensure continuous success of your IT-DR strategy? 
  • Does the provider offer solutions that can meet your needs today and in the future when your strategy evolves? 
  • Will the provider assist in testing your solutions and to what degree? 
  • Is the provider able to customize hybrid solutions to ensure legacy applications are covered? 
  • How will you be able to see that your solutions are working and secure? 
  • Will the provider act as an extension of your IT team and does their service-orientation align with your firm’s culture? 

A good starting point for reviewing DRaaS vendors is the 2017 Forrester Wave™ report.

 



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