Why law firms must migrate to Microsoft Azure in 2024

In November, Broadcom’s $69 billion acquisition of VMWare raised eyebrows. In January, the announcement that 56 of VMWare’s products and services would be axed raised alarm bells. That long list of offerings included VMWare Horizon, a popular product among many law firms that will now no longer be available to provide them with virtual desktop infrastructure.

Law firms must act now to avoid being caught short when Horizon is terminated in January 2025. The logical solution is undergoing a migration to Microsoft Azure, which many organisations turned to as the call for remote work gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic. This provided them access to Azure Virtual Desktop, giving lawyers the opportunity to embrace a hybrid working model.

However, a survey by The Law Society Gazette found that only 17 per cent of in-house lawyers work under a hybrid model,  and there is a continued appetite amongst in-house lawyers in the UK to be able to work from home. A Microsoft Azure migration, and subsequently Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), is the stone to take care of both birds.

AVD is suitable for law firms of all sizes, and comes with a wide range of benefits from better cost efficiencies and improved collaboration, to greater agility and increased data security amongst many others. Let’s explore them each in a bit more detail.

Data security

Transferring your law firm’s data into Azure Virtual Desktop eliminates the potential risks associated with hardware tampering, loss, or theft.

AVD is built on the same security framework as Microsoft Azure, ensuring that you can fully leverage the advantages of identity management, backup, database security and more.

It’s important to highlight that Microsoft commits more than $1 billion each year to reinforce its security measures, supported by a team of over 3,500 security experts that are dedicated to enhancing your law firm’s security. Azure has more compliance certifications than any over cloud service provider, meaning you have access to the latest and greatest security tools available.

Access from anywhere

Enhanced collaboration, productivity and flexibility are among the most requested job factors from lawyers.

The challenge of allowing employees to work from any device is now a thing of the past. With AVD, employees can work from anywhere – whether that’s at a café, office, or home – because they can power up and log in to their desktop, gaining access to crucial business applications regardless of the device, as long as there’s an internet connection.

AVD empowers you to select the ideal Azure Virtual Machine (VM) that aligns with your firm’s requirements and to take advantage of Windows 11 multi-session, an exclusive feature in Azure. This capability allows you to efficiently run multiple concurrent interactive user sessions within the same deployment for increased cost-effectiveness.

Improved business resilience

If there’s one takeaway from the recent global pandemic, it’s that the future can be difficult to predict. Should the business landscape change so drastically again, AVD will enable business continuity. Law firm employees will be able to connect remotely and securely access data as everything will be available on the VM in the cloud.

Lower hardware costs

Virtual Desktops can slash expenses from the get-go with minimal costs, if the server is already up and running. You can also forget about any expensive hardware that requires specific software and licences, but it doesn’t stop there. There’s additional savings to be made later down the line too, when you’ll be able to streamline any upgrades, reducing the time IT spend repeating the same upgrade across different devices. Plus, you’ll have the ability to use existing Windows and Microsoft 365 licences to access AVD.

With the money saved from implementing AVD, your business will be able to reinvest in improving business operations and your future IT strategy.

Streamlined user administration

Administration becomes more efficient and time effective with AVD when introducing new software or allocating laptops to new employees. All tasks are conveniently managed through a unified administrative console.

With AVD, handling employee departures also becomes more efficient – their account is deleted following the transfer of data to another user, and the same physical machine can then be assigned to any new employee, delivering access to a virtual desktop pre-set with the correct apps and access rights.

Simpler licensing model

The licensing process for cloud-based desktop used to a challenge, needing at least three different types of licences, but AVD has simplified this process significantly. Now, you’ll just require a single license for each virtual machine, and if you’re already part of the Microsoft 365 subscription, chances are you’re covered. This not only simplifies the licensing process but also brings down costs.

Scaling up and down has never been easier

AVD’s cost savings go beyond licensing, offering the ability to scale your infrastructure rapidly based on business needs. This ensures efficiency not only in resource utilisation but also in cost management. The centralised AVD portal facilitates tasks like configuring networks, deploying desktops, and fortifying security for employees, all achievable with just a few clicks. A solution that’s simpler, safer, and cheaper – can you see where this is going?

The advantages of adopting Azure Virtual Desktop are countless. Implementation of AVD offers you the flexibility that is essential for continuing to grow your business and set yourself apart from your competitors. Ready to dive in? Get in contact with our experts to discover more about the power of Azure Virtual Desktop.