Law firms throughout the U.S. are rapidly moving to the Cloud. That’s because it provides many benefits when used correctly.
There are key benefits to using the right cloud services. The American Bar Association says that “lawyers and law firms see the Cloud as a fast and scalable way to use advanced legal technology tools without the need for a substantial upfront capital investment in hardware, software, and support services.”
What Are The Main Benefits Of Cloud Computing For Our Law Firm?
Low Cost: Most cloud computing services can be obtained at a low cost. Law firms are discovering that it’s less expensive to procure these services from a cloud provider than it is to run and maintain applications on their own server.
As more software and IT solutions move to the Cloud, the opportunity for cost savings increases. You can avoid paying upfront fees for software licensing or hardware purchases, and you can make use of per-user subscriptions and hosted solutions.
Cloud computing also helps smaller firms compete with their larger counterparts by offering them access to the same enterprise-grade technology at an affordable price.
Maintenance Is Included: Cloud providers typically include maintenance in their services. As an attorney, you and your staff are is too busy have to worry about taking care of software patches and updates. Your cloud provider will automatically install these for you.
Accessibility: As a busy attorney, you’re always on the move. Cloud computing services are accessible from any computer with an internet connection, regardless of your location. When you want to work from home, or when traveling, you can access your files and IT resources securely and easily.
Scalability: Cloud computing services are provided on demand. When you purchase cloud services, you can easily add storage, computing capacity and new features. You can also easily delete services you no longer need.
You won’t waste money on IT solutions that “sit unused on the shelf.” The ability to scale Cloud solutions up or down to fit the current needs of your team means you don’t have to waste money on resources you don’t need, or have to spend large sums of money to bring more resources onboard. Because cloud solutions are billed on a per-user basis, you only pay for what you require.
Data Security: Most cloud providers employ stringent security measures. Plus, their staff is trained and experienced in the implementation of security measures that align with current security risks.
The Cloud provides an additional barrier between hackers and your data by storing your files in an offsite location. Even better, your files are encrypted and therefore only accessible to designated members of your team. And, with Mobile Device Management, if a device is lost or stolen, the data stored on it can be removed remotely.
Data Backup & Disaster Recovery: The redundancy of cloud backups is essential for law firms. If you save your data in local devices, you risk losing it if your office is flooded or if a fire occurs.
Your data will always be safe and recoverable when it’s in the Cloud.
An enterprise-grade cloud backup solution is the best way to store confidential information. Cloud solutions like virtualization allow you to recover your entire IT infrastructure quickly, applications and all.
Servers, desktops, files, and apps are all stored in a secure offsite data center, which is essential for effective business continuity and disaster recovery. Whether you’re faced with something as minor as a brief power outage or as significant as a weeks-long disruption, your IT assets will still be available to you 24/7.
Enhanced Collaboration: Hosted Cloud solutions let authorized team members access and edit documents in real-time. This is invaluable when you have attorneys and paralegals working on a document together but from separate locations.
Document Control: Emailing files back and forth gets confusing and makes it next to impossible to keep track of which version of a document is the correct one. The Cloud prevents this. When a document is stored and edited on the Cloud, there’s only one version of that document. This guarantees that your team is always working with the right information.
What Should We Look For In A Cloud-Based Solution?
Some of the free storage solutions like Dropbox, Google, and others won’t meet your client confidentiality requirements, so you shouldn’t use them. Unfortunately, some attorneys still do, and as a result, they’re putting their client data and their law firms at risk.
Check the End-User License Agreement (EULA) to ensure that you’re not storing confidential information in a solution that’s not secure. And look for a cloud-based solution with law firms in mind. One that:
Uses at least 256-bit AES encryption to secure your files.
Provides In-transit encryption, so your files remain encrypted while being uploaded to the Internet or downloaded to your computers.
Uses Zero-knowledge encryption where only you have access to your encryption keys. Your cloud provider shouldn’t have access to them, and the keys shouldn’t be stored on their servers.
Is HIPAA-compliant if you work for doctors or healthcare organizations.
Integrates with Microsoft Office so you can save your documents directly to the Cloud.
Provides indexing and search capabilities where you can find names and content in every document, as well as emails.
Has the ability to compare older documents to newer versions.
Lets your employees check-in and check-out of documents to ensure only those authorized can access documents, that you know when they do, and that they are working on the most updated versions.
Has a system for document tagging and profiling.
Provides notifications when documents are updated or edited.
Offers document organization and storage that can be arranged by matter.
Has easy-to-use email management and search options.
Comes with an interface that’s intuitive and easy for your staff to use.
Is compatible with the other systems you use.
Provides customer service that’s readily available.
ICS is your go-to expert when it comes to using the Cloud. We offer recommendations for reliable and secure cloud computing solutions for law firms like yours.
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