Cloud in Action: the team at VESK take a look at DaaS and suggest how it could benefit law firms.

After speaking with dozens of mid-tier law firms, IT availability and uptime were the main areas of concern. The frustrations vented ranged from problems with existing Practice Management Systems (PMS), integration problems between CRM and Case Management Systems (CMS), to digital dictation and document management issues.

Most popular legal software vendors have been adding new functions and modules to their existing suite of products such as Adarent, Elite, and HP. The problem is finding a way to integrate all of these applications from different vendors into a cohesive and centrally managed IT environment.

This is where Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) comes in to play. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel by putting together bespoke application packages, law firms can outsource the Microsoft Windows and Domain services. By outsourcing these services they are reducing internal IT’s workload, resulting in less “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” exchanges. Internal IT no longer need to support and manage the end user desktop and device, because the following services have been offloaded:

  • Windows desktops
  • Microsoft Office
  • Internet Explorer
  • Desktop security
  • Disaster Recovery

The DaaS model manages these key features, allowing the law practice to work from anywhere, on any device whilst being able to centrally manage their IT from a web control panel, or directly through Active Directory. Thin clients can be implemented, further reducing the cost of maintaining ageing PC estates.

Larger law firms run dozens of applications, virtualising and migrating all of these applications could take months, even years. Many enterprise organisations do not want their data leaving their own data centre, therefore DaaS is the ideal solution. DaaS has the empowering benefits of cloud without removing the data and applications from internal IT’s control and management.

Thanks to recent increases in bandwidth interconnectivity between data centres, large bandwidth can now be implemented with minimal cost. Running interconnectivity between the data centre, where the desktops reside, and the organisation’s server farm, where the applications and data reside, permits the publishing and streaming of applications between the two locations. This interconnectivity is enabling all of the business applications to appear as links or shortcuts on the virtual desktop, seamlessly provided to the end user.

Virtualised applications are now able to be accessed from the virtual desktop, but what is more impressive is that Server/Client applications which have not yet been virtualised can also be published on the virtual desktop securely through Organisational Units and Security Groups.

Essentially end users can access all of their applications and data from within their virtual desktop, without the applications being migrated or the data being moved away from the organisations data centre. Application access and security policies can be managed easily, maintaining the full benefits of cloud computing but without the headache of huge scale migrations.

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