Can My Mid-size Law Firm Use Cloud?
With so many innovations in legal tech, law firms can now tap into cloud-based software for more efficiency. Even though advances have been great, many small and mid-sized firms still rely on older infrastructure. After several discussions with smaller firms, the benefits of cloud technology raised the same questions and concerns.
One of the biggest advantages for firms is the advent of Desktop as a Service (DaaS), also known as Virtual Desktop or VDI. DaaS provides each user with a login that allows them to access their particular suite of software tools from anywhere. Everything is stored in the Cloud, so a lawyer can work remotely from any device (including tablets and smartphones) to access files and systems. Lawyers travelling between the office and court or out visiting clients don’t lose accessibility to systems.
As mentioned, DaaS works on any device which is helpful for firms with BYOD policies or attorneys that prefer a Mac environment to PC. Taking a step further, even software that is not cloud-based can be accessed through DaaS, meaning legal management software or file systems that are still on-premise are accessible outside of the office.
Another major cloud advantage: disaster recovery isn’t a problem. Whether it’s a natural disaster, fire, virus, or malware attack, a firm using Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can easily recover. Times and points are set quickly in the cloud, mitigating the damage done by the disaster and allowing critical work to continue. Disasters can involve clients too. What if, while traveling for a case, a major client suffers a disaster during a key legal issue? A firm serves as a major asset by having files accessible in the cloud.
From a structural standpoint, the cloud offers reduced costs for the firm, as usage rates dictate the billing. As data is compressed, clients can see up to 80% reduction in costs over traditional forms of backup. Essentially, using the right cloud methods, a company only backs up new and first-seen data because previously backed up data remains in place in the cloud.
For cloud, security is a question often raised. Now, with the proper use of private cloud, security can actually be stronger than in traditional methods. Top agencies, including those in law enforcement and government, are regularly operating in cloud models that meet specific security and compliance standards.
There are numerous advantages to implementing cloud for law firms, but remote access, disaster preparedness, cost, and security are the most significant. The cloud sounds out of reach but, with the right partner, it can be customized to fit any size firm.