Articles
January 8, 2019

How to tell if a legal entity management software is fake cloud?

The term “Cloud computing” is widely used today. On the consumer side, the Cloud is the IT infrastructure that powers many of the popular services that we use in our daily lives such as Netflix, Gmail, Apple TV and Uber. On the other hand, On-Premise software is software that is installed locally on your company's servers.

On the business side of the Cloud,  most companies today have policies to only procure Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) products and plan to decline their usage of On-Premise software. According to Forbes, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud in 2020. This is because Cloud-based SaaS provides a much better experience for both users and administrators, such as fast loading times, no complicated installations, and no risky update or patch processes. 

As spend and investment dwindles for On-Premise software, On-Premise vendors typically now offer their software as “Hosted”, “Private Cloud”, “Hybrid Cloud” or as known in the IT industry as “Fake Cloud”. Fake Cloud is hard to point out during the sales/purchasing cycle. But when the Fake Cloud software is actually in-use, it has all the problems of On-Premise software and more. Organizations that want modern, reliable and fast software should choose True Cloud software, not Fake Cloud.

How to spot Fake Cloud?

Before you acquire a legal entity management software, ask these questions to determine whether a proposed solution is True Cloud or Fake Cloud?

  1. Does the software provide 99.9% uptime measured monthly? (Fake cloud cannot offer this level of uptime) 
  2. Is the proposed business suite developed as an On-Premise solution, or was it purpose-built as a Cloud-based SaaS application? (True Cloud software was never made to operate On-Premise)
  3. Is the software multi-tenant or single tenant? (True Cloud is multi-tenant) 
  4. Does the software have versions? (True Cloud is versionless)
  5. Does the software employ auto-scaling and load balancing to support fast loading times? (True Cloud software supports both) 
  6. Is the proposed solution pre-installed, or will it need to be implemented before you can start configuring it for your business use? (True Cloud software does not need to be installed)
  7. Is there any downtime during upgrades? (True Cloud upgrades do not require downtime)
  8. Does the software have an Open API (True Cloud software often has an Open API)
  9. Does the database employ data sharding (True Cloud supports sharding by default)
  10. Ask the vendor to provide a link to their uptime status page such as “status.athennian.com” (Fake Cloud does not have uptime status links)

Fake Cloud Platforms are Not Secure 

In addition to True Cloud providing better usability, it also provides substantially better security. Because Fake Cloud platforms are not architected to be operated on the internet, they have inherent vulnerabilities that make them easier for malicious parties to hack.

For example, in May 2019, CT Corp., the company owned by Wolters Kluwer that operates the CTAdvantage and hCue entity management systems was hacked with malware and there are several lawsuits against CT as a result. 

Selecting a True Cloud Platform

By asking the questions listed above, you should be able to identify True Cloud from Fake Cloud platforms. To make your review of the market easier, below is a list that categorizes global legal entity management systems into the appropriate category. 

  • GEMS (Fake Cloud)
  • Blueprint / Diligent Entities (Fake Cloud)
  • hCue (Fake Cloud)
  • CTAdvantage (Fake Cloud)
  • EnGlobe/GlobalAct (Fake Cloud)
  • Secretariat (Fake Cloud)
  • Athennian (True Cloud)

About Athennian
Athennian.com is the top reviewed legal entity management true cloud platform for law firms and in-house corporate teams. Athennian is used by innovative organizations that value modern software with elegant automation and workflows. Integrating entity data management, document assembly, eSign, org charts, and e-file, Athennian is selected by leading law firms and corporate legal and tax teams to scale legal entity governance. Athennian offers rapid migration services for customers from any legacy database including ALF, CorpLink, EnAct, GlobalAct, EnGlobe, FastCompany, Corporate Focus, Blueprint (Diligent Entities), GEMS, hCue, Effacts and more.

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“Athennian is now our primary corporate entity management software, and over time we are implementing new and greater efficiencies to our workflow by taking advantage of its functions."
4.8/5 stars (5 reviews) on Capterra.com
Mark Asfar
Associate, Momentum Business Law
(5 star review on October 28, 2019)