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Why Cloud Should Be Part Of Your Mobile Strategy

 

Legal practice staff members rarely work in only one location. Lawyers might meet up with partners, consult clients and go to court, leaving behind the desktop at the office. Traditionally, lawyers would be required to carry stacks of files with them pertaining to each case, making it easy for these documents to be forgotten, lost or stolen somewhere along the way.

Mobile devices were introduced as a means to provide flexibility, but this hardware alone isn’t enough. Cloud platforms make up for necessary functionality within mobile initiatives. Let’s take a closer look into why the cloud should be part of your mobile strategy:

1. Greater accessibility for business resources

Mobile devices alone can’t guarantee access to necessary information, particularly if it’s only stored on a desktop. CIO noted that the cloud ensures that lawyers have a resource platform wherever it might be required. Paired with a robust mobile strategy, users can have access everywhere possible, solving challenges of scale, platform support and updating. Cloud and mobile technologies provide greater value when used together and actively rely upon each other to produce benefits.

Mobile devices and cloud enable lawyers to access resources from anywhere_AfinetyMobile devices and cloud enable lawyers to access resources from anywhere.

When integrating these tools, legal practices must gauge employee operation requirements. Mobile needs will largely guide cloud strategy to serve as an enabler to stay connected and engaged. Ensure that mobile apps will work even with poor connectivity to provide true anywhere, anytime accessibility.

2. Better security through centralized management

In bring-your-own-device environments, maintaining governance is a considerable challenge for many businesses. Without being able to manage mobile hardware, it’s uncertain that users will follow data best practices, download appropriate applications, regularly update systems and use security capabilities. Wrangling all of the potential devices and enforcing BYOD policies have posed significant problems for organizations, particularly in heavily regulated fields.

The cloud solves a large number of these issues by offering centralized management for security, data access, computation and storage. Computerworld contributor Bill Claybrook noted that with the cloud, organizations can rely on security of the mobile device to get to the app, but will need to authenticate against the back-end system in the cloud to view critical data. This will ensure that even if a phone is lost or stolen, malicious parties can’t access business resources or information.

“Look for cloud providers with uptime records of 99.999% and 24/7/365 monitoring.”

3. Improved recovery strategies

Mobile devices could be a key part of bolstering disaster recovery strategies. If the office, your desktop or critical files are inaccessible, mobile hardware can easily allow work to continue, provided the information has been backed up. The cloud acts as a centralized storage platform that regularly syncs with essential documents. This ensures that the most recent versions are available to continue operations and reduce downtime.

With a capable cloud provider, law firms can quickly recover during disaster situations. ITProPortal contributor Kevin Scott-Cowell noted that cloud vendors keep systems up and running, enabling you to go through your normal operations. Look for uptime records of 99.999 percent and 24/7/365 monitoring to quickly catch and address issues before they cause damage. If something happens on your end, the cloud vendor is available to guide you and restore critical systems as fast as possible.

Mobile initiatives are critical to bolstering law firm capabilities, but the cloud adds extra necessary functionality. The cloud will enable greater accessibility, improved security and better recovery options across mobile hardware. These features will significantly benefit lawyers as they look to operate in more places and view critical documents on their devices. For more information on how law firms can take advantage of the cloud in their mobile strategies, contact Afinety today.

How law firms can benefit from managed services

 

Setting up and maintaining an internal IT infrastructure can be a challenge for any law firm. Lawyers, aides and other personnel are busy with critical tasks, leaving little time to focus on their IT development. Legal practices should look to leverage managed services for their IT needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest ways that managed services can benefit your law firm:

1. Skilled personnel

Legal practices come in a variety of sizes. For the small to medium-sized ones, it can be difficult to attract a qualified in-house IT expert, based on resources and opportunities for advancement. This can result in hiring personnel who don’t have the experience or skills necessary to suit your business IT needs.

Managed service providers have experts on hand who are well-versed in the latest technology and trends. They are constantly looking ahead to stay on pace with industry changes and ensure that you can take advantage of valuable hardware and software assets. This will save considerable costs and time associated with recruiting, training and employing an internal IT workforce.

MSPs have skilled personnel to provide round the clock support_AfinetyMSPs have skilled personnel to provide round the clock support.

2. Diverse contract options

Every law firm is different, and your solution should reflect this. Managed service providers offer a variety of services and contract options to choose from that will fit your unique requirements. Bundled services might be perfect, whereas a la carte options might be better to pick out specific functions. As Law Technology Today contributor Eric Hoffmaster noted, providers might also have a fixed-price contract, offering unlimited support for a set price. You can take advantage of monitoring and remote guidance 24/7/365.

Many decision-makers worry about buying a solution that doesn’t have the full suite of assets for their needs, or paying for features they don’t need. By teaming up with a managed services provider, you will have a number of services and tailoring options available. Solutions can be customized based on your users and functionality expectations. It also helps to have a vendor who is experienced with serving your industry. The managed services provider should have a proven track record of success in the legal sector, demonstrating that they uphold compliance requirements and can deliver on their promises.

“Managed services don’t have to replace internal IT. “

3. Less reliance on internal IT

For legal practices that have internal IT personnel, they can still take advantage of managed services. IT departments receive numerous calls and tickets per day, making it difficult to address all issues quickly. By offloading some of this burden onto a managed service provider, internal IT personnel can handle other tasks and explore other avenues for growth. As CIO’s Thor Olavsrud noted, managed services don’t have to replace internal IT. They can instead complement internal IT capabilities to focus on more strategic projects and save costs.

An MSP manages servers and hardware on their end, reducing your overall investment in this area. A good vendor will also look to configure your solutions appropriately and provide around-the-clock support for any situation. Law firms can experiment with the latest technologies and mobile capabilities with the help of an MSP while giving time back to internal IT personnel.

For small law firms, it’s particularly difficult to set up and maintain IT infrastructure, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT staff member. Partnering with an MSP like Afinety that tailors solutions to your firm and understands the legal industry can benefit you in a number of ways. With a proven record of 99.999 percent uptime, we ensure that you’re able to access important files and business assets anywhere at anytime. Our 24/7/365 support and monitoring will provide peace of mind that we’re here to help and are constantly watching for any unusual behavior that could impact your firm. Contact Afinety today for more information on how partnering with us can bolster your IT capabilities.