Law Firms Share Tips for Working Remotely During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced law firms to push the majority of their employees out of the office and into their homes. This fast-spreading health crisis has thrown a wrench in daily operations for nearly every American across the nation. Simply put, life is different, and in many ways, it may never return to the same status quo once this pandemic passes—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Many law firms, and businesses as a whole, are being forced to work remotely, but they are realizing that with the right tools they can still operate efficiently and productively.

Litify spoke with three law firms—HawkLaw, Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, and Hornsby Law Group—about how they are adapting to this new reality and why they think this crisis may force the legal industry into 2020 once and for all. Read the highlights from the panel and watch the full conversation below.

Building a Culture of “Acceptance of Change”

HawkLaw, Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, and Hornsby Law Group all shared that they are nearly 100% remote right now, with the exception of a few volunteers who are checking physical mail. Panelists all credited Litify’s mobile, cloud-based platform for being able to move their operations remote so quickly.

HawkLaw has undergone a digital transformation over the last few years and was virtually paperless before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Because of this, John Hawkins noted, the move to a remote workforce was “relatively painless.”

Wesley Cagle, Director of Litigation Operations at Daniel Stark, commented that the firm moved to Litify for this very reason—to be able to work remotely. They too have experienced a relatively smooth transition as employees work from home.

Hawkins noted that it’s important to build a “culture of acceptance of change” in your firm, one that encourages trying new tools and ways of doing things. This mindset has particularly helped as his firm works from home.

“The law firms that can digitize the most will be around long after this,” shared Hawkins.

Firms Are Leveraging Multiple Tools

In addition to Litify, we asked panelists to share the programs that have been particularly helpful as they work away from the office. Here’s what they shared:

  • Chatter: Salesforce built-in social network. Relates conversations to specific matters and documents in Litify.
  • Zoom, GoToMeeting, Uber Conference: Video conferencing. Used for internal and external meetings.
  • Calendly: Scheduling application that allows clients to pick a time to be contacted.
  • Microsoft Teams: Communication and collaboration platform within Office 365.
  • LoginTC: Multi-factor authentication for applications outside of Salesforce.
  • Cisco Jabber: Cloud-based phone system. Allows employees to make calls from their cell phones or computers using their business extensions.

For more mobile-friendly tools, check out our list here.

Client-Centric Communication Is Even More Important

Now that in-person client meetings are off the table, law firms are considering more channels for external communication.

Though HawkLaw and Daniel Stark offer video conferencing for client meetings, they said that communication should always revolve around clients’ preferences. While that could be Zoom, it could also be a phone call, email, text, FaceTime, or even WhatsApp.

And during this time of unprecedented uncertainty and stress, it’s also important that law firms communicate when it’s good for the clients. Hornsby Law Group uses the scheduling application Calendly which allows clients to select the time they would like to be contacted.

Helping the Most Vulnerable

Going even further than client-centric communication, panelists shared how they are caring for their most vulnerable clients.

Daniel Stark has instructed employees to be particularly sensitive and understanding when interacting with clients and to always reassure them that the firm is continuing to work on their case. They are also supporting the local community at this time by organizing blood drives.

HawkLaw is also putting the community above profits. They’ve sent care packages to vulnerable clients and are running a new commercial that directs viewers to HawkLawCares.com, a website featuring free COVID-19 resources.

Increasing Employee Morale 

COVID-19 has touched everyone by upending routines and creating a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Employees may be juggling childcare with work, have sick loved ones, or at the very least are worried about vulnerable family, friends or their own health. 

John Hawkins said that employers can do their part by maintaining structure and stability on their teams—essentially controlling what they can control. 

He expects staff to show up on time to virtual meetings, like they would in the office, and appear professional on camera. He asks that fears and qualms are put aside before they log in to work so that everyone in the firm can focus on helping their clients. “Clients don’t want to see you fall apart,” Hawkins noted.

And when all else fails, a funny meme is always appreciated. Nimesh Patil, Salesforce Administrator at Hornsby Law, shared that his colleagues aren’t above sharing a funny post throughout the day to keep the mood up.

Crisis Shows the Need for Industry-Wide Change

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on just how antiquated some legal processes are.

Panelists noted that there is still too great a reliance on wet signatures (rather than e-signature), particularly for healthcare-related requests. And insurance departments are still bent on sending physical checks. Not only does this impede remote work, but it increases the likelihood of fraud.

Some courts are using video for hearings—a change that panelists hope will only accelerate after the crisis. But change is still surprisingly slow.

Hawkins shared that if there is anything good to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, he hopes it will “bring the legal industry into 2020.”

Have Questions About Working Remotely? 

If you have questions about tools you can leverage to help you work remotely effectively, or would like to know some best practices for becoming a digital-first law firm, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to talk with you.

Litify vs. Other Cloud Platforms

Not All Cloud Solutions Are the Same

If you’re researching cloud-based business solutions, you have probably come across a variety of options. First off, you have the right mindset. Cloud computing has opened new opportunities for law firms of all sizes, making sensitive information more secure, improving workflow efficiency, and better-equipping team members to produce repeatable results.

In this research, you’ve likely seen articles discussing cloud-platforms that are littered with a lot of acronyms and industry jargon. Let’s lay some of those terms out in a clear and concise way. But ultimately, let’s help you understand what to look for when deciding what platform might be the best fit for your company’s needs.

There are three categories that cloud-based platforms fall into: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Identifying the difference between these three services will help narrow your search down into the right solution for your business.

IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]: This type of cloud-based infrastructure delivers resources to companies through virtualized technology, enabling them to build and manage their complete digital infrastructure (servers, network, CRM platform, etc.). IaaS offers large amounts of flexibility and control for businesses looking to manage all these aspects within their own ecosystem.

PaaS [Platform as a Service]: These structured platforms provide hardware/software tools that developers can build custom applications on. PaaS companies offer businesses creative freedom without needing to start from scratch, as items like security patches and system updates are handled by the original developer. Salesforce would be an example of a PaaS.

SaaS [Software as a Service]: This service comes in the form of software, made available to users for a subscription fee. SaaS companies require no development or backend management, as security, compliance, and maintenance are all handled by the parent platform. This service enables users to focus on their own data and daily activities, requiring minimal input from their side. Litify is an example of a SaaS company.

What to Look For in a Cloud-Based Solution

When comparing cloud-based solutions, you need to be able to skip over the marketing verbiage and understand what features are offered—and at what value.

Here are six areas to assess when examining various cloud-based platforms:

  1. Security – Ensure that all client information, case files, financial records, and internal notes are protected by multiple security measures. Ask companies what kinds of data encryption they offer, if they conduct background checks on employees, who has access to data and in what circumstances that access can be revoked.
  2. Compliance – This ties closely with security, but it is vital to check that a platform meets industry compliance standards, like HIPAA. What are you responsible for, compared to the developer?
  3. Support – How much technical support is offered and how quickly are you likely to receive care? Do you only receive help via email? If you are seeking a hands-off approach to your platform, the quality of support you are able to receive might weigh heavily in your decision.
  4. User Experience – A new system should make your law firm operate with better functionality and efficiency. What specific navigation, organization, and productivity features will enhance your team’s capabilities?
  5. Updates – How often are updates made available? If it’s just once a year, your software is likely in a constant game of catch-up. Technology is rapidly evolving—your software should be too.
  6. Integrations – Your law firm gets work done through multiple applications and programs, but you’re probably jumping between screens and tabs to use these tools. An innovative cloud-based platform will enable third-party app integration, allowing you to work through one centralized system.

Ready to Transform Your Firm?

Litify as a Solution

Litify is more than a cloud-based platform for law firms—it’s an innovative management solution. Users are provided with industry-leading security, technical support, and customizable features and functionality.

World-Class Security: Litify offers multiple security steps such as two-factor authentication, the use of TOTP tokens, U2F protocol tokens, other time-based authenticators, as well as SAML 2.0 to protect your firm, employees, and clients.

Industry Compliance: Salesforce’s cloud-based interface provides users with industry-leading security and compliance, including HIPAA, GDPR and ISO 27001.

Responsive Customer Care: Litify believes that education is the key to customer success. Customers have access to an online portal with on-demand courses on how to use the platform effectively, and are paired with a dedicated Litify support manager. If outages do occur, they are addressed quickly. The U.S. Department of Defense and the majority of Fortune 100 companies rely on and trust Salesforce.

User-Friendly Interface: A simple and straightforward legal management platform, Litify allows users to benefit from 21st-century computing power. With features like point-and-click configuration and administration, users are able to build, customize and navigate a platform that saves time and improves efficiency.

Regular Updates: Litify issues free quarterly updates on top of the three Salesforce updates every year. With such a rapidly-evolving platform, customers never have to worry about it becoming dated.

Integrations and Customization: Customize Litify to work the way that you do. Integrate thousands of apps through the Salesforce AppExchange and dedicated Litify integration partners, all in one easy-to-use platform.

Ready To Experience The Benefits of Law Firm Management Software?

Learn how Litify can revolutionize your company’s efficiency and transform your clients’ experience — let’s talk.

Here’s Why You Should Move Your Law Firm to the Cloud

When it comes to your legal practice, maybe you like to live on the edge. Maybe you get an adrenaline rush from putting your livelihood at risk every day by keeping your data on vulnerable in-house servers.

But if you want to make legal work less painful for you and your clients, save money, and mitigate threats by storing your data in the most secure location possible, then it’s time for you to migrate your law firm to the cloud.

Here’s a closer look at two of the key benefits you’ll experience when you take advantage of the power of cloud computing technology: portability and security.

The cloud makes case information and documents more portable

Lawyers and clients alike expect 24/7 access to their data, and their case files are no exception. But if your law firm’s files are stored on a server, you’ll need to set up a virtual private network (VPN) for secure access, which can be inefficient and painful. You could also email documents to yourself, but that creates extra work and does not ensure that you’ll be looking at the latest and most accurate version of your documents.

With the cloud, attorneys can review case-related documents, exhibits, and client information regardless of where they are—in their office, at home, in the courtroom, or on a beach halfway around the world—and from any device. Given that clients expect to be kept up-to-date on case developments as they happen, it’s important that lawyers have the anywhere, anytime access to information that the cloud provides.

Similarly, clients expect that information will be at their fingertips at all times. Given the ubiquity of cloud-based services like Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, and Evernote, they’ll be surprised if their lawyers can’t offer them fast, real-time updates on the status of their case.

The cloud offers better security for your law firm’s data

Though maintaining the security of clients’ data is a paramount concern and ethical responsibility for most law firms, cybersecurity is rarely a core competency for them. So, unless you have unlimited resources to invest in dedicated 24/7 IT services, it’s probably a better idea to look to the cloud than to internal solutions to meet your security needs.

But keep in mind that not all cloud solutions are created equal. Here are some things to look for when you’re choosing a cloud-based platform:

Multiple layers of round-the-clock security. Make sure the facility has physical barriers to entry, such as biometric scanning and video surveillance, as well as network intrusion protection systems.

Data backup and recovery. Your provider should have a backup and recovery plan in the event of a disaster, cyberattack, or other emergency. Check the provider’s certifications, guaranteed uptime statistics, and redundancy plans. Ensure that your data will be stored in multiple locations, protected by battery backup, and fire detection and suppression systems, among other things.

Cybersecurity certifications. Ensure that the cloud provider satisfies industry standards, such as ISO/IEC 27001 and SAS-70 Type II, as well as any standards applicable to your industry. For example, you should look for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Two-factor authentication: To protect against unauthorized access, no matter where employees and clients are logging into the system, you need more than a basic login that asks for username and password. Additional measures, such as an SMS password, physical token, or digital certificate should be required to gain access.

Rights management. The platform should grant permissions to different types of content by user role: lawyer, staff, contractor, and client.

Logs and audit trails. The cloud provider should be able to track every system login and the user’s path throughout the system.

Data encryption. Make sure that the provider encrypts data in transit and in storage to further protect it from security risks.

Portability and security: these are two of the reasons we built Litify on one of the world’s most trusted cloud-based platforms: Salesforce. Contact us to learn how moving to the cloud can help take your law firm to the next level.

The Evolution of Software as a Service and Why Your Firm Should Be on the Cloud

Traditionally in tech (let’s pretend that phrase isn’t an oxymoron for a moment), there were two ways to do things when it came to software: monolithic systems and point solutions.

In a monolithic system, all functions are interwoven architecturally; entire apps are built as a single unit. Think of an old and monumental ERP, the kind of unique and privately built, controlled, and maintained IT system a huge corporation had. You got ownership, in-house security, and continuity.

You also got rigidity, bulkiness, and long implementation times. Although once simple, these systems became more complex as business needs grew and applications got larger. They got bogged down by complicated layers and became massive and immovable – hence the term monolith. It’s become clear with time that scaling those singular systems is messy and can create bottlenecks.

Enter point solutions. Sometimes called microservices or best-in-breed, these niche technology solutions were aimed to solve small, but important, pieces of the larger puzzle. The idea was more to divide and conquer versus to build a large army housed in an impregnable castle.

But these boutique solutions came at a cost. They are completely separate software sets that don’t talk to each other at all. Their requirement of different user credentials, interfaces, and workflows creates more administrative work for teams. A proliferation of vendors and lack of communication between apps meant a lot of costly, time-consuming, trial and error required to find the pieces that fit with your business’s puzzle.

These two types of software systems exist at two ends of the spectrum. When we began brainstorming the best way to use technology to refine law firm operations, we thought, what if we stopped thinking of extremes and started meeting in the middle?

Legos, Goldilocks and Square Dancing

Litify introduces a whole new way to optimize your firm’s operations: loosely coupled cloud integrations. This system provides central management of data center resources through smaller software solutions. You get agility and the ability to tap into pre-built services as-needed.

In a loosely coupled system, components use little or no knowledge of the other separate components, which means they can be replaced by alternative applications that provide the same services. Imagine each AppExchange category like a square dance. Every app can follow the steps, and it’s easy to take one out for a spin and decide who you groove with the most.

These loosely coupled cloud integrations have one job; they’re responsible for a single functionality. Because they’re independent, they can be built by any set of tools or languages.

But unlike point solutions, they are built to mesh with the pieces around them. They fit together like lego blocks – designed to come together for a greater purpose, but easy to take apart if needed and left unchanged.

Cloud computing is cheaper, more flexible, and faster to deploy than any previous method. It allows applications to be continually updated and new features can be rolled out to all law firms very quickly. Cloud solutions also tend to be more secure, since providers are more adept and better equipped to protect their computing systems against hackers than individual businesses.

Individual attorneys can access their files across devices instantly with just a secure internet connection, making them more mobile and available to clients. Meanwhile, data is continuously and automatically backed up. In short, a loosely coupled cloud solution is the law firm’s Goldilocks.

Litify provides a platform technology solution built on Salesforce with integration APIs for workflow applications that are easy to configure, interoperable, and scalable. There are over 3,400 apps on the Exchange already that you can choose from to maximize your firm’s operational efficiency.

Whereas monolith systems are out of reach for small law firms to develop or use both because of cost and complexity, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that use loosely coupled cloud integrations like Litify level the playing field and allow small law firms to effectively compete against bigger firms and non-law firm legal service providers that use cloud technology.

Get Your Head in the Cloud

We’re already well past the cloud computing tipping point. Computing power has gone the way of electricity; instead of generating it individually and on-site, we now tap into a network for power. The cloud computing market is projected to reach $411B by 2020. It is the engine of enterprise technology innovation.

And, while law firms have been late adopters of technology in the past, according to the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey 52% of firms report using cloud computing software. Additionally, according to a Cisco study, by 2020 74% of the total cloud workloads will be SaaS workloads.

Basically, if you’re not using loosely coupled integrations on the cloud, you’re in the past.

The world is in constant flux, and the demands on data are flowing with it. SaaS through the cloud is a revolutionary innovation for the delivery of legal services. Increased efficiency not only allows attorneys to redirect their time to tackle new problems, but also enables firms to serve a broader group of consumers, which expands access to justice.

Litify is one way you can adopt an adaptive and proactive business strategy. It provides a platform built for loosely integrated components that law firms can integrate to streamline their operations, increase team productivity and increase growth. The following are the AppExchange integrations that our clients have found most beneficial.

Top 5 AppExchange Integrations for Law Firms

  • DocuSign. The market leader in e-signature, DocuSign is the best way to send, sign and track agreements and approvals. The app allows you to digitize legal documents, sales contracts, HR forms, and more from anywhere, on any device at anytime.
  • Spring CM (Premier). A document management solution, this app is built to streamline document generation and automate their workflow. You can route docs for review and signature and store them directly on the appropriate record. It comes with pre-approved templates and online forms that can quickly pull data from Salesforce. It helps maximize visibility and increase efficiency since you can initiate a workflow immediately upon creating a document.
  • Breadwinner. Quickbooks Online’s integration. A simple way to connect your Matters to your financials. Offers two-way creation and sync of invoices, bills, purchase orders, payments and more, which are brought into Salesforce and synced live hourly.
  • New Voice Media. A comprehensive phone solution that allows you to manage inbound and outbound calls directly inside of Litify. Built specifically for Salesforce, New Voice Media works seamlessly on our platform to allow CTI, IVR, click-to-dial, auto dialing, call recording and call routing.
  • 360 SMS or SMS Magic. Provides you the ability to send and receive SMS/MMS directly inside of Litify. You can text your clients and offer them the ability to communicate with you in the way they prefer.

The Next Generation Cloud Platform For Top PI Firms

Law firms are making the switch to cloud platforms for managing files, data and overall case management. Why? Because maintaining a secure on-premise IT solution is costly and complex.

There’s a variety of enterprise cloud-based platforms on the market that can do the trick more efficiently and cost-effectively, while helping you keep up-to-date with technology. It’s true, parsing feature lists can be daunting, while signing up for free trials and test drives can be time-consuming. More importantly, even if you sift through all the sales material, you still may not find something fit for the specifics of your particular law firm (since most are not built with that kind of flexibility).

Well, Litify is designed to put the needs of firms first. Built on Salesforce with the highest of security and frequent, automatic updates, it’s the product law firms have been looking for (and even trying to build themselves!). Below is a quick breakdown of our services and features that allow law firms to easily streamline their operations to keep track of (and even boost) conversion rate, reduce operating cost, automate workflow, and increase client satisfaction.

Litify – A Comprehensive Cloud-Based IT Solution For The Top PI Firms

Litify combines the benefits of cloud software with the needs of law firms by integrating legal best practices – such as document, workflow, and client management systems – into a secure environment (Salesforce) – used and trusted by government agencies and enterprises around the globe.

You can now navigate marketing, intake, referrals, client interaction, matter management, document storage, and finance all in one single location in a simple, digestible, and actionable format.

Tap into the advantages of using a cloud platform without having to reinvent the wheel:

1. Unified Process

Litify’s complete suite of products addresses every aspect of a law firm’s operation to help you automate your workflow. Set up consistent processes, assign roles and make sure your teams follow the best practices guidelines you put in place to optimize opportunities, productivity, and information sharing.

A side note: you can train current employees and easily equip new hires to use the platform with our dedicated services team and training tools.

2. Measurable Success

Track all interactions and results on the platform. Analyze the data and fine-tune your operations and client service procedures to simultaneously save and make more money.

3. Seamless Transition and On-Going Support

Receive thorough analysis of your operations and business processes ahead of any kind of commitment to the platform.

We’ll arm you with a migration and transition strategy so you can get started on our platform without any interruption or loss of client information. We’ll also be there with you every step of the way as you transition, and to answer any questions – including access to monthly Release Notes for feature and other updates!

4. Customization and Scalability

Customize layouts, actions, and workflows to meet your needs, regardless of practice area or headcount. Additionally, we’ll work with you to  scale up your tools as your practice’s needs grow.

5. Mobile Access

Access all files and data, and respond to client requests at any moment, anywhere on your choice of device. Let’s face it – you live in a mobile world. Your work should too.

Ready To Try Something New?

There’s no better time to move your business processes, files and data to Litify. In addition to a quality cloud solution, what you get with us is a solution built for longevity. Sign up for a demo to see where best in class legal practices, law firms and technology intersect.

A final note: we’re rapidly evolving our offerings and product roadmap to stay ahead of current. What that means for you is: automatic updates and enhancements to your applications on a consistent basis, without additional cost. And the door is always open for feedback. Something you’re not seeing? Let’s talk – chances are we can build it.

Schedule a live demo to see how Litify can help you streamline your business and increase your revenue.

10 Cloud Security Best Practices For Attorneys and Law Firms

If you’ve been overwhelmed and frustrated by having to maintain an in-house IT solution for your law firm, you might have considered using a cloud computing platform specifically for case management.

There are many benefits for moving your files and data to the cloud, such as lower cost, increased productivity, scalability and higher client satisfaction.

Understandably, law firms are concerned about the IT security of these cloud-computing solutions.

After all, it’s not only your own data but also the sensitive information your clients have entrusted you that’s on the line.

The reality is, maintaining a secure on-premise IT solution is becoming increasingly difficult and costly. In fact, 64% of IT professionals at medium and large enterprises say that a cloud system is more secure than a legacy system.

However, moving to the cloud doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. The files and data you store in the cloud are only as secure as the measures taken by your provider to protect them and your ability to adhere to security protocols.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 cloud security best practices that you need to ask your provider about or implement as a user:

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Simply using username/password as login credential is no longer enough to ensure secure access by authorized personnel.

You should be able to set up additional authentication method(s) to supplement the username/password pair, such as a physical token, a password card, a digital certificate, biometry or SMS password.

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2. Access Management Policy

Your cloud-computing service platform should allow you to set access rights for each individual user such that employees, contractors or clients can only access information relevant to their roles.

It’s also important to keep track of access granted on a temporary basis and remove users when their relationships with your firm end.

3. Log Management

Logs are not only for compliance. They also help monitor suspicious activities and aid in forensic investigations in case there’s a breach.

Your cloud service provider should keep track of every user that logs into the system and views any document, and be able to provide you with such information upon your request.

4. Data Backup and Recovery

A top-tier cloud service provider should have a comprehensive backup and recovery plan with multiple redundancies built in to ensure that your data is secure whether there’s a cyber attack or physical disaster – covering scenarios for either loss of location (e.g. physical disaster) or loss of Internet connectivity.

A well-designed recovery plan allows you to get up and running again with minimum downtime, which could be critical when you’re working with time-sensitive materials.

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Make sure you review the recovery plan with your provider so you know exactly what to do when there’s an emergency.

5. Vulnerability Analysis and Ethical Hacking

Your cloud service provider should routinely carry out vulnerability analyses done by a credible third party to ensure the security of the system.

These analyses help the provider stay on top of their security measures and ahead of malicious hackers.

6. Compliance To Security Standards

Security standards for cloud computing are fast evolving. Besides making sure your provider is adhering to industry standards (e.g. ISO 27001,) you should also do your due diligence by making sure your platform is compliant with the standards required for your business and area of practice (e.g. HIPAA.)

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7. Procedure In Case Of DDoS Attack

A DDoS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) attack could bring down a cloud service and anything connected to it as hackers flood the system with data to prevent users from accessing the website.

Make sure your provider shares with your any pertinent procedure so you won’t be caught off guard without access to your data.

8. Data Encryption

Your data should be encrypted during transfer and storage to ensure that they’re protected from prying hackers.

9. Browser Security

Your employees will likely be accessing the cloud through their web browsers. Make sure the browsers on all the computers are properly updated to avoid browser exploits.

10. Employee Training

Your security measures are only as good as how well all your employees are adhering to the protocol.

Work with your cloud service provider to set up employee training to help your staff understand and apply the new security procedures. You also want to make sure that this training becomes part of your new employee on-boarding process.

Be a Smart Cloud User

Cloud security is fast evolving to keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape.

To safeguard your files and your clients’ data, make sure you understand your providers’ security model and stay vigilant.

Stay informed by educating yourself so you can ask pertinent questions when choosing a cloud provider to protect your information.

Here at Litify, we’re committed to providing a secure cloud-computing environment for our customers and help them streamline workflow, increase conversion rate and of course, beef up IT security. Find out how Litify makes it easy for you.