The cloud computing industry offers many benefits for law practices looking to improve their technology infrastructure and cut costs. Many companies are making legal industry-specific solutions to help ensure that you have the confidentiality and security measures required when working with resources that are located off-site from your law firm. Here are a few ways that cloud computing allows you to meet your law practice’s technology needs while reducing the associated costs.
Centralizing Document Management
You depend on accessing vital paperwork for all aspects of your law firm operations. If you only have hard copies or the data is stored away on a closed off system, then you end up wasting time tracking down the information.
Cloud computing streamlines these processes by eliminating redundant work and making it easier to find everything that you’re looking for. Document management systems that are cloud-based put everything in a centralized location. Everyone in the practice accesses the same resources so you don’t have to look in remote workstations to try to figure out where vital documentation is.
Another benefit of this type of document management is that you have a clear audit and accountability trail, in case you suspect information is mismanaged or otherwise not handled correctly.
Modernized Practice Management Solutions
Practice management solutions also benefit from a move to the cloud. You enjoy modern features such as integration with other legal software, anytime, anywhere access and does not require you to have a server on-site.
You get a standardized set of features in a single solution, rather than using individual applications for each part of practice management. Since everyone uses the same software, you can easily train new hires and ensure that everyone follows a consistent workflow.
Since you don’t need to deploy the software to individual workstations, you also have an easier time provisioning a new user when someone joins the firm. They don’t need a special workstation to get started. As long as their device is capable of connecting to the Internet, they can reach this resource.
Improving Data Security
Data breaches are a threat for every industry, and you’re dealing with a lot of sensitive and confidential data as a law firm. Hackers are getting smarter with their attacks every day, and it’s difficult to have fully featured security measures in place when you have a limited IT budget.
The Managed IT Company that you work with often has access to security hardware and software that you wouldn’t otherwise have available in your environment. They need the latest in security features since they depend heavily upon securely connecting with their clients. You can leverage these security measures to give your own clients the peace of mind that they need.
Enhancing Mobility Features
You don’t spend all of your time at a desk. Sometimes you’re visited with a client or at the courthouse. If you don’t have the right documents on hand or you need access to a resource, you could find yourself playing phone tag to try to get it handled.
Cloud-based systems, by their very nature, are remotely accessible. As long as you have an internet connection and a compatible device, you can get what you need even if you’re out of the office.
Your productivity goes up when you always have these resources on-hand. The less time you spend on back and forth conversations, the more opportunities you get to focus on your current duties.
Another benefit to this type of mobility is that you don’t rely on a single workstation that could fail. You can quickly swap in another device to take its place. This approach allows you to reduce downtime that happens when hardware breaks or has an operational problem.
Reducing Need for In-house IT Staff
Trying to get anything done during system downtime is nearly impossible for the modern law firm. You’re reliant on access to your legal software and other solutions. In-house IT employees are costly, with in-demand skills and the high salaries to match.
You could end up working with a barebones team that doesn’t have the resources to keep everything running properly. It only takes a few instances of unplanned downtime before frustrations mount and you run into major productivity issues.
Cloud-based solutions remove a lot of responsibilities from your IT staff. They don’t have to deploy, update or maintain the hardware and software that’s associated with that platform. The software vendor has their own employees dedicated to staying on top of everything that’s needed to keep the systems up and running.
A Managed IT Company often ends up being a more cost-efficient choice in this setup. You hire essential in-house staff but fill in the gaps with outsourced IT support services to complement them. This combination helps keep everything running smoothly so you never worry about inaccessible systems and other incidents.
The cloud brings a lot of advantages to a law firm that’s trying to optimize costs and maximize productivity. Whether you start with a handful of cloud-based applications or you move your entire infrastructure to the cloud, your legal business will move in a positive direction.