There is a wide variety of hosting options available now to enable legal practices to introduce “Cloud Computing” using practice management and case management systems (PMS and CMS) as “Software as a Service”.
Specialist hosted solutions providers, who host the firm’s entire IT environment, which includes a particular PMS that is capable of running in a hosted environment. Specialist hosting providers active in the legal sector include e-know.net (www.e-know.net), Intercept IT (www.intercept-it.com) and K-Cloud (www.k-cloud.com) with other providers like Onyx Group (www.onyx.net) edging into the legal market.
PMS suppliers like DPS (www.dpssoftware.co.uk), Quill Pinpoint (www.quill.co.uk), Pracctice (http://www.pracctice.com/) and Iris (www.iris.co.uk/legal) who host their own applications and manage them directly for at least some of their clients, but who may also have clients using their software hosted by any of the specialist hosting providers mentioned above. Quill, Pracctice and DPS started ahead of the game by investing in hosted solutions early on.
Some PMS suppliers can offer a comprehensive hosted solution from a specialist hosted service provider that incorporates their PMS. For example, e-know.net with Lexis Nexis to host their Axxia PMS, Visual Files and InterAction, K-Cloud with Pilgrim and Intercept IT with SOS “Virtual Practices” (www.soslegal.co.uk).
Firms can rent rack space in a hosted environment provided by the likes of InTechnology and Civica where the hardware and applications can reside, to be managed either by the IT staff at the law firm or by the provider of the hosted environment, with variations possible in the extent of responsibility that each party takes on board.