The Cloud for Law Firms
Law firms, like most businesses, are always trying to find ways to do more with less, while still providing their employees and clients with the best user experience. The Cloud can help firms save time, money, increase flexibility and enhance data security. Migrating to the cloud has become a no-brainer for most businesses, but law firms tend to be hesitant when it comes to adopting technologies that they do not fully understand.
Although confidentiality, security and control of the firm’s and clients’ data are paramount to the success and longevity of a law firm, most firms are not even taking standard cautionary measures to make sure that these pillars of the practice are being adopted to function effectively in the modern world. In addition, many firms are teetering on the edge of being left behind because they are wasting too much time and money on outdated methods of managing, and securing, data and in many cases, they have not embraced the technology required to allow attorneys and staff to work effectively and efficiently when outside of the office.
The Cloud, in very basic terms can be described as software or services that can be utilized and accessed via an internet connection. Unlike traditional software services, with the cloud, the software is not installed locally on the computer or device the user is using to access the service. Furthermore, the user’s data is processed and stored on remote servers instead of on a local computer, device or hard drive. Most people use and access public cloud services everyday (i.e. Microsoft 365, Zoom, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Gmail and Netflix). In the case of law firms, a private cloud, which is a dedicated server in the cloud that hosts server-based software that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, is probably the best option for most firms. With a private cloud, a firm’s server and technology platform can be replaced, or at least, partially replaced, by a hosted and managed virtual desktop that enables the entire firm to access applications and documents (including Microsoft office, billing software, case management software) from any device and from any location securely.
One of the best features for firms choosing to embrace the Cloud is the immediate savings in eliminating the need for paper, physical files, hardware, software and support services. Moving to the Cloud will allow your firm to use advanced legal technology tools on the cloud’s fast and scalable platform with only the need to pay a monthly or annual fee in the form of a subscription. This provides significant savings for most firms. As most firms know, as data and caseloads grow, servers eventually reach the end of their lifespan. Purchasing and maintaining servers is extremely costly and the cost for outsourced IT help is becoming impractical. Relying, even in part, on a private cloud will eliminate many, if not all of these costs, and will eliminate the time and headaches associated with things like backing up and retrieving data to and from physical hard drives, updating features and repairing any issues.
Another important feature that comes with adopting cloud technologies is the ability to create a more flexible work environment by allowing employees to access applications and data from any place, at any time and using any device. In today’s competitive environment, legal clients and employees demand flexibility and efficiency, and expect the ability to handle meetings and communications, access case files and data, and work on cases at any time and from any place. Without the help of cloud technologies, the attempt to always be available and provide clients with a uniform and seamless experience becomes nearly impossible. However, utilizing the cloud, which uses a secured virtual desktop that lets attorneys and staff log into a secure environment from any location or device and at any time, ensures that your firm’s level of quality work and service will always be optimal.
Lastly, but most importantly, the use of cloud technologies will enhance your firm’s security posture, thus, making your clients feel at ease that their sensitive, personal data is in good hands and helping your firm meet all of its ethical and regulatory data protection requirements. Law firms are easy and common targets for cyber security attacks due to their extremely sensitive and valuable data, and the fact that most firms lag behind when it comes to securing their data. Traditionally, firms attempted to address their security issues by locking desk drawers and file cabinets, using password-protected systems, and maybe even using basic firewalls with occasional spot-checks. However, with private cloud, your data is hosted in a single-tenant environment that includes features such as data segregation, encryption and resource allocation. With a private cloud system built from the ground up by experts who intimately understand the business operations of law firms, you’ll have a secure environment to store sensitive data—and one that is run by those who are in the business of keeping your data safe and secure.
There are certainly challenges law firms should keep in mind before they decide to transition to a private cloud from legacy systems, including data migration, user accounts and access permissions, security, and training. But working with an experienced technology partner, such as Pro Logic Systems that can assign a team to guide your firm through this process is instrumental. If you would like a trusted advisor to help you navigate through your journey into the cloud, feel free to reach out to Pro Logic Systems at "firstname.lastname@example.org" to speak with our architects and industry experts.