SaaS in Legal Technology: What are my Options?

SaaS in Legal Technology: What are my options?

5th September 2019

SaaS in Legal Technology: What are my Options?

By Amulya Dutta, Director of Technology at ContractPodAi

Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription-based on use metrics.” In other words, SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is software that is rented (a service) and runs on the developer's cloud network. This rather than purchased outright, owned and run on the user own computer hardware.

Some argue that SaaS licensing has been around since the dawn of computing, in the 1960's. However, realistically, the business world started wide-scale adoption of SaaS technology over the past 20 years. Gartner estimates that in 2018, SaaS sales grew to $72 Billion. Today, SaaS is widely used, and recognized as a standard software deployment method for large and enterprise-scale technology.

 

Why SaaS?

Segregation of Concerns (SOC) is one of the development topologies adopted by Engineering teams to specify who does what. It brings the best out of people and software to concentrate on their area of expertise.  The logic applies to companies as well. Let the best do the work. SaaS allows the experts to bring their product available to all who need.  SaaS offers a lot more than just reducing business costs.

ContractPodAi® is a legal technology innovator that provides Contract Lifecycle Management to organizations. Although it provides on-premise solutions, the vast majority of customers request SaaS deployments. SaaS as a software marketplace does much more than just reducing the cost of the software. The true advantage is that it also allows experts to deliver their best work and easily share it with the world.

Years of experience has shown SaaS technology to provide benefits like:

  • Cost advantages (only pay for what you need)
  • Shorter time to deployment
  • Opex rather than Capex spending.
  • Vendor managed systems (security, upgrades, up-time reliability)
  • Frequent, regular software updates
  • Continual innovations
  • High adoption
  • Accessible from any location (work anywhere)
  • Design for integration capabilities
  • Mass scalability

Deployment Options

As an IT manager, you understand that your organization has unique needs. Similarly, law firms, corporate legal teams, and contract management teams, also have different needs. So too, are their software requirements.

While considering a partner for your legal technology, look for flexibility in their deployment options. What SaaS solutions do they offer, and on which cloud computing network is it hosted? Will it meet your legal team's needs, in terms of geographic coverage, up-time standards, the volume of data it can manage, and so on. Can you configure the system for different SaaS needs, like single tenant vs multi-tenant scenarios?

 

Single Tenant SaaS

Single tenant SaaS is often considered the first stage of cloud computing. The single tenant system is exactly as it sounds. A confined virtual environment that is set up on the cloud platform. Within this preconfigured environment, is a single instance of the software running for just one client. For some companies, this is a good first step into SaaS in legal technology. Single tenant SaaS solutions provide:

  • Private virtual environments (client data completely isolated from any other)
  • Performance (not affected by any other systems)
  • Controlled and clean backups/restore capabilities
  • Full control of single tenant environment
  • Easier to run software customizations

The main disadvantage of single tenant solutions is that costs are higher than a multi-tenant deployment. Also, software customization is a temptation but can make software upgrades and updates, challenging.

 

Multi-Tenant SaaS

Multi-tenant SaaS architecture is one in which a single instance of software is run for multiple clients. As a result, multiple companies share the cost of resources and the software. Sometimes companies can be hesitant to move towards a multi-tenant system as they question the security and confidentiality of it. However, effective contract lifecycle management (CLM) systems like that of ContractPodAi, ensure every client's data is isolated from any other. When it comes to SaaS for legal technology systems, multi-tenant solutions are currently the popular solution.

Orange Shoes - Making a choice between different SaaS options

Benefits of multi-tenant SaaS configurations include:

  • Lower cost (resources shared across companies)
  • Efficiency (due to higher system use)
  • Easier & faster setup (due to similarities across clients)
  • Standardized upgrade schedules
  • Focus on configuration & personalization instead of major customizations
  • Performance rarely an issue on larger cloud systems like Azure

 

On-Premise Contract Management

Although, not a SaaS technology; this post would be remiss not to mention on-premise solutions. Some companies and corporate legal departments may have good reason to need on-premise solutions. Some of the benefits of on-premise solutions include:

  • Owned hardware and enterprise purchases license for the software
  • Physical control of hardware servers
  • Specialized security capabilities (own IT specialized staff)
  • Important data stored on-premise (no cross border storage privacy concerns)
  • Minimal internet access reliance

On-premise solutions are the least favorite option, but still important to consider. At the very least, it is important to know and identify the vendors that offer this option - should it be needed.

 

It's About Your Needs

Remember that today's office of the general counsel is concerned about delivering more for less. Historically, this was not a concern for legal teams. But today, delivering value to the corporation, and doing so efficiently - is important. Our job on the IT end is to ensure we help make this principle a practice management approach.  Single or multi-tenant. Which is best for your organization?

As such, top contract management systems like that of ContractPodAi - give you flexibility. Simply put, it is among the most advanced, and intuitively easy to use - AI-driven legal technologies on the market. In addition, it offers this in the configuration that customers want. Whether your team needs a single tenant, multi-tenant, or on-premise solution - ContractPodAi can help.

Unlike many other contract lifecycle management vendors, our job isn't to convince you that our way is the best way. Today, SaaS in legal technology is all about powerful capabilities, AND flexibility to meet your needs. You know your company best. You know your IT systems, personnel, and capabilities. And, ContractPodAi is here to support you, and offer the solution that best suits your needs.

Contact us for a quick open discussion about your options, and how we can help.

 

Author:

Amulya Dutta Amulya Dutta
Director of Technology

Connect with us on LinkedIn

 

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