IT Companies in Houston: Legal Firms Need to Use Caution When Approaching the Cloud

 

IT companies in HoustonAccording to IT companies in Houston, law firms across the country are looking for ways to lower the cost of technology. One option many firms are considering is moving all or part of their internal data storage onto the cloud. The assumption is that it will lower costs significantly. However, there are special considerations for the sensitive data handled by the legal profession.

The Draw of Cloud Computing to the Legal World

Technology and its maintenance cost money. In smaller firms, technology costs can take up too much of the profit margins. Larger firms are always on the lookout for ways to minimize indirect costs that cannot be billed to clients.

This is why so many firms are drawn to the idea of the cloud. They assume that moving the technology outside the firm will lower costs. They think there would be lower capital expenditures for hardware and lower operating costs due to needing fewer staff members.

Well, they could be correct. However, according to IT companies in Houston, there are other considerations when it comes to evaluating whether moving to the cloud is an effective option.

Government and Regulatory Requirements

As of July 2018, neither the state of Texas nor the Texas bar association has not issued advisory opinions as to the obligations or responsibilities of law firms who choose to use cloud storage.

Other states have, however. While the defined obligations and responsibilities vary from state to state, the consensus is that a lawyer who chooses to move data onto the cloud needs to use “a reasonable standard of care.”

The attorney needs to choose a provider with a solid history of protecting its clients’ data. One that has a history of data breaches is not one that a law firm should be doing business with.

Another consideration is the terms and conditions of the provider’s service. An attorney should take extra care in what is agreed upon.

Before moving data to the cloud, the attorney should seek permission from clients. Updating client engagement forms with the potential use of cloud services is a good place to start.

Use Caution When Considering Migration to the Cloud

The cloud computing industry offers a number of solutions that can make the situation easier. Hybrid or private clouds might be better solutions than a public one. Security and governance must be part of each step of the migration.

If you want to learn more about cloud computing options for your law firm, contact us at ICS today. We are one of the leading IT companies in Houston offering a portfolio of services to our clients.