Cloud vs. On-Prem Tools for Legal Teams

By Chris Combs

When purchasing a piece of software, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. One important decision you must make early on in the buying process is to decide whether you will use an on-premise software solution (managed on your company’s internal servers) or a cloud-based software (managed by a vendor). Here’s a few reasons why choosing a cloud-based software product is the preferred way to go.

No extra costs
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a very popular delivery and business model for web software. The premise of SaaS is to have access within any browser without any extra software to install locally. In contrast to on-premise software, which has hidden costs in addition to the purchase of the license. Those hidden costs include purchase of additional hardware to run the software, a dedicated server administrator for maintenance and troubleshooting, and additional upgrades of the software as released by the vendor.

High availability
Cloud based software vendors guarantee an availability of the software through their Service Level Agreement. It’s usually a number around 99%. That simply means that throughout the entire year which is 525,600 minutes, the application will only go down for a total of 87.6 hours and it’s usually for scheduled maintenance performed off-hours. On-premise software would require your internal IT team to provide and maintain that level of availability for the software to be accessible.

Upgrades are rolled in
One of the best parts of using a SaaS product is that its constantly being upgraded. On a typical day a SaaS provider can do hundreds of upgrades to the product, most of which are transparent to you. Those hundreds of upgrades span the range of bug fixes, new features and also security patches. Your annual contract with a SaaS company has all of these fixes and upgrades rolled into the cost and your team gets the highest value. On-premise software must be upgraded manually, usually sold at an extra cost.

In 2016, cloud based software is the way to go for legal teams. It's a model that provides the biggest benefit to the customer and the lowest overall cost.

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