Cloud Computing - effective process for Scottish law firms

Hamoudi, J. (2013). Cloud Computing - effective process for Scottish law firms (MSc Business Information Technology Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Cruickshank, P., McEwan, T.).



The aim of this dissertation was to gain a better understanding of the extent of cloud computing use by law firms in Scotland and gain an understanding of the motivations for adoption and the issues and risks associated with it, with the intention of producing effective guidelines to assist firms in the adoption process. This was achieved.
The research approach adopted was primarily qualitative. Data was gathered from law firms and cloud vendors using interviews and a questionnaire. The findings are based on data from 12 out of a possible 27 firms with 18 or more equity partners.
The results revealed that the financial benefits of cloud such as reduced capital expenditure, increased cash flow and reduced operational costs are important, but are not overriding considerations with adoption more likely to be influenced by a combination of factors. Concerns over information security and loss of control were found to be significant barriers to adoption with data location being a key consideration for firms. Cloud computing is widely used by firms to commoditise standard applications such as email virus scanning and collaboration systems using a public cloud model. Critical business applications and data are hosted internally and would only be migrated to a private cloud model. There is no perceived need for a legal community cloud. Instead cloud standards and Law Society accreditation for vendors were seen as necessary in order to engender trust and encourage wider adoption.
This work contributes to the wider body of knowledge on cloud adoption by providing unique insight into the drivers and barriers to the adoption of cloud computing by law firms in Scotland. Furthermore, it provides law firms with effective guidance to assist them in the adoption process.
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