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

2 May 2018

Jon Robinson

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.

 

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