Migrating your Document Management System (DMS) to the cloud doesn’t need to be as challenging as it may first appear. Morae has the tools to understand costs, benefits, and return on investment (ROI) that make the process and decision easier.

More and more law firms and corporate legal departments are realizing the benefits of working in the cloud. But changing business-critical infrastructure and systems is a significant financial and operational undertaking that requires senior management buy-in and specialist support. Operationally, it affects current and future IT budgets, and involves practical considerations such as systems integration.

In legal, as in all professional services, time is money, so disruption and downtime are serious business challenges. Morae is the legal sector’s natural choice consultancy and strategic partner for iManage implementation and integration projects. Morae has been ‘iManage Partner of the Year’ since 2011, and no-one has more experience in migrating users and documents to the iManage Cloud globally.

Morae has applied its in-depth product expertise and extensive experience managing major enterprise transformation projects to develop the Cloud ROI Calculator.

The Cloud ROI Calculator is a decision-making tool for IT executives and other senior management involved in deciding to migrate their document management system (DMS) to the iManage Cloud.

What is the Cloud ROI Calculator?

The Cloud ROI Calculator is a decision tool that CIOs can use to present the case to senior and board executives about migrating to the iManage Cloud.. It serves as a checklist and a reminder that ROI is not just about costs – it is also about opportunities.

An at-a-glance cost-benefit analysis compares the costs and opportunities in running the iManage DMS on-premises against the subscription costs of running iManage Cloud over three years. It presents a direct comparison between on-premises and the Professional option, which includes: Classic Client Pack (FileSite, DeskSite), iManage Drive and iManage Threat Manager.

The calculator also shows the relative costs in the Essential and Enterprise option. The three options reflect a firm’s profile in terms of size, number of users and its IT requirements.

How Does it Work?

The Cloud ROI Calculator includes a detailed breakdown of the price of each element in the three cloud packages enabling decision-makers to see at-a-glance what is included and what can be purchased as an add-on. It also lists the unique costs that apply to cloud and on-premises systems.

ROI is More Than Value for Money

The Cloud ROI calculator clarifies, in a single document, that up-front costs are not the only factor in evaluating the on-premises system against three iManage Cloud options.

ROI is not just about value for money. It is also about leveraging your IT investments. The Cloud ROI Calculator shows how the iManage Cloud subscription model not only replaces capital costs but covers operational costs of implementing software updates and ongoing support, including disaster recovery/business continuity.

The comparison covers a three year period because it informs a major strategic decision that will have significant mid to long-term consequences for business operations and financial management – whether and when to migrate your iManage DMS to the cloud.

The three-year cost-benefit analysis highlights value-added features of the iManage Cloud that support efficiency, security and smart working. Some of these are not balance sheet items, such as enhanced risk management, compliance and client care.

Technology, Processes and People

In comparing cloud and on-premises costs, the Cloud ROI Calculator includes operational costs, in addition to the capital cost of purchasing the software, against the cloud subscription model.

Factors to consider include routine software maintenance and support for upgrades and new applications. Every year there are multiple updates across the iManage product portfolio. While iManage Cloud generally conducts a three month regression test on each update before it is released, on-premises clients need to work with Morae to test each product update for its effect on business continuity and potential unintended consequences before rolling it out across the firm.

When on-premises iManage customers consider migrating to the cloud, they may see that the overall cost per year is higher than the purchase price of on-premises software. However, they may be overlooking the additional running, support and maintenance costs.

Running on-premises iManage Work 10 software requires servers, licenses and data storage. Servers and other hardware need to be refreshed every three to five years and the cost of these is likely to increase. Although data storage costs are falling, data storage itself has become a more complex issue as data privacy compliance considerations change as jurisdictions introduce new and varying rules and regulations.

The cost of monitoring and refreshing these applications need to be factored into a three-year budgetary forecast. The Cloud ROI Calculator shows that this is reflected in systems operational costs which increase year-on-year for on-premises systems and adds exponentially to the cost burden. Whereas, in the cloud they are covered by a fixed subscription and are therefore more predictable.

People are another important consideration.

On-premises software requires a commitment of significant resources – cost, time and personnel. In addition to using Morae support services, firms with on-premises document management systems will need IT staff with iManage experience and expertise, so they also face recruitment and retention considerations.

Financial and Operational Benefits

The Cloud ROI Calculator provides a full and considered cost analysis of financial and operational requirements by comparing cloud and on-premises systems. It demonstrates that the cloud and on-premises products are not entirely comparable and highlights the key benefits of migrating to iManage Cloud.

iManage Cloud makes it easier to be efficient. Users can access all documents from anywhere, on any device, at anytime. The system is always on as your subscription includes outsourced 24/7 support, reducing in-house IT requirements, including support services and specially trained personnel.

The flexibility of working in the cloud boosts business agility. Additional licenses can be switched on instantly, providing unlimited user access and collaboration; and they can be switched off or transferred in the event of an office move, new opening or closure.

And your data is secure in the cloud. Enhanced system security and data security provide peace of mind for you and your clients. iManage Cloud Enterprise includes iManage Threat Manager, Security Policy and File-level Encryption with Customer Managed Encryption Keys. This can be bought as an add-on to secure other versions.

Lead Your Firm into a Cloud-First Future

The cloud is rapidly becoming the de facto platform for enterprise technology. Let Morae help you lead your business into a cloud-first future.

Morae designed the Cloud ROI Calculator to help IT Directors, CTOs, CIOs, Procurement Directors and other decision-makers undertake a fully considered cost analysis to help put the business case to the board. Morae can help you secure top-level support and get the timing right.

Expansion, consolidation – of businesses and/or systems – office relocation or plans to open new offices are powerful drivers and opportunities for migrating your DMS to the cloud. Cloud systems reduce IT hardware and software requirements and maintenance and make it easier to open and close offices in multiple jurisdictions.

A software/hardware refresh presents another opportunity to consider migrating your data to the cloud. And this opens up further opportunities to deduplicate and cleanse your data and make sure it is up-to-date and complete.

An initial comparison will depend on the age and capability of your legacy system – if it is coming up for replacement you will have to transfer your data anyway. Or perhaps your firm is following Microsoft’s cloud-first strategy and moving to Office 365, in which case it is worth considering migrating your document management system to the cloud too as other Morae clients have done.


The Cloud ROI Calculator is a tool that enables decision-makers to understand the value and opportunity of migrating to iManage Cloud. It helps them look beyond the initial numbers to see how working in the cloud helps business operations be efficient, secure and smart.

Cloud ROI goes beyond capital and operational costs as it impacts all parts of the business helping you work smarter while reducing risk. Is this for you? If so, when is the best time to start? Before you decide, it is worth starting a conversation with Morae now, to begin your Cloud ROI calculations, take a cloud readiness assessment and apply this fully-considered, detailed approach.