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Cloud Computing for Professional Services
 

Cloud Computing for Professional Services

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The green lining in this cloud has less to do with the environment and everything to do with the bottom line – increased productivity, efficiency and ease of management. ...

The green lining in this cloud has less to do with the environment and everything to do with the bottom line – increased productivity, efficiency and ease of management.
This session will explore a model that requires a fundamental business shift in both capital investment and attitude, reviewing the real world challenges and opportunities a services firm has experienced moving to the cloud.

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Cloud Computing for Professional Services Cloud Computing for Professional Services Presentation Transcript

  • The Green Lining in Cloud Computing: A Model for Professional Service Organizations
  • Definition
    • Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • working definition
  • Our Definition Happy, Productive Lawyer Cloud Technical Stuff
  • A New Entrepreneurial Business Model for Law
    • Progressive, forward-thinking business whose business is law
    • Virtual environment, collaborative model
    • Flexible, agile with responsible allocation of resources
      • Maximize each professional’s contribution and the value to clients
      • Scalability to rapidly adjust to client needs
  • Our Environment
    • Complex, data intensive applications
      • Law practice content management systems
      • Document management platforms
      • Secure email networks
      • Digital dictation services
      • Billing/accounting/timekeeping service
      • Web/design and other marketing applications
      • Office - including outlook scheduling
      • Integration with legal mgmt calendars, smart phones, VOip
  • Our Environment
    • Virtual Power Users
      • Remote access a must!
      • Collaboration vital to providing efficiencies and value
    • Need to store and quickly access large amounts of data
      • Scalable Litigation Model
        • Massive file sizes in litigation - hundreds if not thousands of pages of scanned documents, emails, photographs, audio/video, etc.
        • Strict data retention and chain of custody requirements
        • Need to scale quickly and seamlessly
    Our Environment
  • Circumstances for Change
    • Existing server unable to handle massive and growing volume of digital documents
      • Work flow nearly crippled
      • Inability to handle existing load let alone scale to meet litigation case loads
  • Circumstances for Change
    • Network slow downs
      • “ Hurry up and wait” - slow response caused frustrations, lost time, lower productivity
      • When programs hung, users tempted to hang themselves!
    • Costly and disruptive to implement, maintain, and upgrade multiple applications
      • Version control issues
      • Licensing headaches
  • The Tipping Point Accidental deletion of one portion of a single client file took 1 ½ weeks to restore!
  • Examining Our Options
      • Review Capital Expenditures
        • 4K to replace existing server - stop-gap measure
        • 30K in anticipated capital expenditures that still didn’t provide enough room for future growth
      • Face Security Issues
        • Private client files stored in relatively unsecure location
          • Cleaning crews, maintenance workers, etc.
          • Potential to walk off with server, accidentally unplug or spill a coke
  • Examining Our Options
    • Analyze costs of downtime, slowdowns
      • Estimated cost of 10K daily in event of catastrophic failure
      • Client Value
        • Clients deserve real value for time billed
      • Quality of life/professional costs
        • Staff dissatisfaction, frustration, etc.
      • More productivity = increased revenue and more free time!
    • Does continuing on the same path and expanding our internal infrastructure make sense?
    The Question to Paragon:
  • The Answer…
    • A disruptive business model demands disruptive technology, so…
  • Rent the Power!
    • Small increase in maintenance costs translate to 100% uptime
    • $800 monthly savings in phone lines per switch to VOip at datacenter
    • Real savings realized in terms of the costs of not being fully operational!
  • The Business Case
    • A Business Case That Makes Sense
      • We are a service organization
        • NOT capital intensive
        • Service = cash
      • A means to lower both capital expenditure and operational expenditures
        • Cost savings, power savings, green savings
      • Increased agility
      • Platform for collaboration and innovation
      • Let’s us do what we do best - practice law!
  • Service Benefits
    • Competitive Advantage
      • Speed to market
      • Great equalizer via larger firms - we can’t pass the buck if something goes wrong
      • Ease of access – user not tied to geographic location
      • Data protection
      • IT efficiencies
      • Scalability as needed
      • No downtime!
  • The Cloud: Management Perspective
    • Virtually eliminates infrastructure costs
    • Scales to extreme workloads quickly and easily
    • Remote access from anywhere is a given
    • Levels of security, backup, redundancy and performance that go far beyond what the typical law firm can imagine.
    • Paragon takes care of patches, updates and other administration.
    • Technology costs become utility costs; monthly service fee that you can easily budget for
  • The Cloud: User Perspective Wicked Fast! Anywhere, anytime access! No downtime! Better collaboration!
  • Life in the Clouds Cloud Computing Gives Our Business a Competitive Edge! Virtualization Scalability Accessibility Management Ease Efficiency Flexibility Agility Automation Savings
  • Paragon Implementation
    • Internal barriers few due to size and structure of firm, relative sophistication of users
      • Fear of changing established mode of operation
      • Loss of control; concern over personalization
        • Ability to download programs, add-ons, etc.
    • Bandwidth
      • Process-intensive applications with multiple users
      • Chain of custody concerns
    • Migration
      • On site server in poor state, data migration was delicate
      • SW was a snap!
  • Ensuring Bandwidth
    • P2P network - distributes processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth across multiple nodes, always directly accessible by the users
      • 10M data per seconds
        • Equal to The Complete Works of Shakespeare x 2!
  • Virtual Network
    • vmware ® platform
      • vmview - virtual desktop in datacenter
      • Virtual Ethernet adapters and virtual switches
    • Pano Logic Zero Client Desktop
        • No CPU, storage, drivers, or operating system = no end-point management
        • Moves 100% of the processing power and management to the data center
        • Familiar user experience - look and feel
  • Licensing
    • SW licensing-service provider licensing
    • Microsoft
      • Old model, pay per license
      • New model- pay by month
      • per user easily upgraded, no legacy, updates
      • Other SW products still purchased traditional way, but managed centrally (Saas)
    • Previously, nothing preventing internal or external threats to server housed at firm
      • Dependent on maintaining protocols
    • Virtual solution “plugs gaps” of traditional security systems
    • Shifting public data to a external cloud reduces the exposure of the internal sensitive data
    • Cloud homogeneity makes security auditing/testing simpler
    • Clouds enable automated security management
    • Redundancy / Disaster Recovery
    Security – A Key Concern
  • Questions?
  • Thank You! For Further Questions:
          • [p] 612.746.2560
          • [f] 612.746.2561
          • [email_address]
    Ben Skjold Litigation & Business Attorney Licensed in MN and IL www. skjold-barthel.com