29 May 2017Jon Robinson
The changing cybersecurity landscape and increasing challenge of maintaining an on-premise IT solution are leading more and more law firms to consider a cloud-based IT solution.
If you’ve been experiencing similar challenges and frustrations, you may also be looking into moving your law firm’s files and data to the cloud, and researching tips and best practices to ensure a smooth transition.
It’s definitely a big decision and not one to be taken lightly.
Here are the benefits you can expect from using a cloud-computing platform:
1. Lower Capital and Operation Cost
You don’t have to purchase and maintain the expensive hardware, buy the latest software, or hire a huge team of IT experts to run the system.
You no longer need to worry about replacing outdated equipment, and the large expense that comes with it.
2. Cost Efficiency
When businesses work with an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) company, they’re moving ownership and management of physical server assets to a dedicated, experienced managed service.
This arrangement creates an economy of scale that allows IaaS companies to lower the cost of system implementations and upgrades as one team of experts can service many clients – thereby lowering cost without sacrificing quality.
3. Improved Compatibility
Your IT team no longer has to worry about compatibility issues among industry standards (e.g. Apache, PHP, MySQL) – a task that is often time-consuming, cumbersome and fraught with glitches.
4. Minimized Downtime
Top-tier cloud-computing platforms have an excellent record of uptime. They have teams of experts available 24/7 to monitor the system and to respond quickly in case of emergency.
There’s also redundancy built into these systems so even if there’s a failure in one part of the network the system will continue to function.
5. Comprehensive Backup and Data Recovery Plan
Top-tier cloud-computing providers have comprehensive backup and recovery plans. Not only will they back up all your files and data but they’ll also have a recovery procedure in place to minimize downtime in the event of a disaster.
Cloud computing allows you to scale up quickly as your demand for computing powers grows – e.g. to accommodate more client data or more staff members – without impacting the performance of the system or having to overhaul your IT set up.
7. Seamless Integration
Chances are you’re already using quite a few cloud-based services – e.g. Dropbox for file transfer, or Google Calendar for scheduling.
Most cloud-computing platforms allow you to seamlessly bring together your existing applications so your employees can stay productive using the tools that they know and love.
8. Continual Support
When you purchase an on-premise IT solution, you’re often left on your own device after the transaction.
On the other hand, when you use a managed cloud hosting provider, you’ll have on-going access to IT specialists who are there to ensure that everything is running optimally and provide technical support whenever necessary.
9. Access From Anywhere
Your employees can access the cloud from anywhere with an Internet connection and from any device.
This allows more flexibility while increasing productivity.
10. Security and Compliance
A top-tier cloud-computing platform has multiple layers of security in place to ensure that their clients’ data are protected against both cyber attacks and physical breaches.
They employ teams of security experts to keep up with all the latest IT security measures, stay ahead of malicious hackers by fixing any vulnerability immediately, and making sure that the system is compliant with the latest laws and regulations.
Most platforms also allow you to set up multi-layer authentication to protect against unauthorized access even when employees are accessing the cloud from various locations and devices.
11. Improved Client Experience and Satisfaction
More and more law firms are taking advantage of their cloud-computing platform to enhance their client services.
A client portal allows documents to be shared in a secure environment with version control built-in to minimize errors and miscommunication.
Sensitive documents are no longer being emailed back-and-forth, a process during which private information could fall prey to breaches in email services.
Not to mention, clients appreciate the added transparency as they can track progress whenever and wherever they want.
Cloud-Computing for Attorney and Law Firms
There are many advantages of switching over to the cloud as an IT solution.
There is, however, one caveat – a cloud-computing platform is only as good as the provider that runs it.
When you place your trust in the cloud, you’re placing your trust in the company that manages the cloud.
As a law firm, your clients entrust you with highly personal and confidential information.
A data breach will cost you not only financially but also your reputation and your client relationships.
To ensure the safety and security of your files and data, make sure you follow cloud security best practices when choosing your provider and using your cloud-computing platform.