Starting our operations in the Europe – tough decisions on infrastructure

On the back of our success in the US market, nScaled formally launched its European operations earlier this year.

Like any new entrant to a market, spending time speaking to leading figures in the industry and gaining valuable feedback, is a critical part of the strategy. What has quickly become evident through these conversations is that thinking has moved on and organisations are realising that the benefits from owning and managing their own datacentres is diminishing.

A few years ago, the phrase, “we want to be out of the data centre management business” is not one which would have readily been associated with law firm IT directors. Now it is. These are not quick decisions, but commercially law firms are realising that there are significant benefits from adopting a shared approach to infrastructure and that security within these environments is now at a level which often exceeds what they are able to provide themselves.

On taking that decision, one very experienced law firm IT director recently commented to me that deciding to move their data centre offsite “was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make”.  However, that IT director has the full support of the partnership and is keen to make the move now so the business can start to reap the benefits from an offsite cloud based infrastructure.

As well as shifting datacentres wholesale into the cloud, we are also seeing the incremental approach, with law firms using cloud based hosting when introducing new practice solutions such as document and practice management systems. This strategy is one which fits well for an implementation of say, SharePoint 2010, where they have gone through customisation for their own use, where they want the flexibility to manage the application themselves without going down the fully managed service route and don’t want to invest in additional onsite hardware.

The infrastructure decisions which need to be made today are the cornerstones of an agile and dynamic business strategy, to delay or not make these decisions may quickly become a business constraint.