Deciding if the cloud is right for your legal practice
April 5, 2017 in Cloud Network
By: Lorita Ba
Cloud computing has advanced significantly over the years, but there are still some organizations that haven’t jumped on board with this technology. Budgets, compliance requirements and other business considerations can hold law firms back from adopting a cloud platform.
Benefits from the cloud speak for themselves – 80 percent of cloud adopters saw significant process improvements within six months of their transition to the cloud platform, and 82 percent reaped substantial cost savings, Law Technology Today contributor Jeff Chandler reported. By following these tips you can decide if the cloud is right for your legal practice:
1. Assess current systems
Adopting a new solution can be daunting, compared to sticking with a familiar system that’s been used over the years. However, these tried-and-true systems might actually be outdated and can create significant workflow bottlenecks. You must ask how staff members are utilizing available tools, and whether they’re providing value or hindering performance.
Law firms must assess their current systems to identify what functions would be replaced with cloud solutions. It will be important to consider where issues are stemming from. Lawyerist contributor Nicole Black suggested building a new cloud-based system for younger practices. Established ones might benefit more from upgrading traditional software for cloud-computing programs. This could help ease the transition without changing everything at once.
“Employees must be able to access critical information when they need it, from any location.”
2. Identify staff needs
Legal roles have evolved over the years to better serve clients and help provide the best outcome. Much of the software used to facilitate these new responsibilities has remained in the past, creating significant holes in functionality and performance. Lawyers no longer stay at a desk or laptop – they’re increasingly using mobile devices while at the courthouse and in the field.
Employees must be able to access critical information when they need it, from any location. This will help them quickly resolve issues or gain important insight for a case. Legal practices must be aware of these types of staff needs to determine if their current solutions are still beneficial. IT Law Group noted that cloud computing can provide the flexibility users require on an as-needed basis. Many providers sell services on-demand, enabling you to quickly scale and pay only for what you use.
3. Secure your data
Security has long been one of the biggest factors holding organizations back from cloud adoption. The law industry has specific regulations that it must abide by to protect client information and maintain compliance. Many providers have some security protocols in place, but they might not be able to fulfill the unique requirements for your legal practice.
Partnering with a service provider that focuses on the legal industry can provide you with the protection you require and the cloud environment that will be right for your firm. Afinety is experienced with configuring and maintaining cloud technology for legal practices. We provide 24/7/365 monitoring to identify any unusual activity and prevent issues before they cause damage. We also maintain 99.999 percent uptime, ensuring the highest level of accessibility possible, and go a step further by offering Multifactor Authentication to confirm users’ identities to safeguard your network. With a cloud solution, you’ll be able to backup and store data securely, preparing your organizations for any situation.
Cloud computing has already made a name for itself, and your legal practice can take advantage of this technology for substantial benefits. By following these tips, you can determine if the cloud is right for your law firm and what considerations to make as you decide on a solution.