THOMSON REUTERS ELITE

WINTER 2014 EDITION

Forefront
 

Why the Cloud?

Why the cloud? In short: security, accessibility, and savings. If you're surprised by any of these reasons, it's time to learn more about today's cloud computing options for law firms.

As the Internet has become ingrained in our daily lives and online security has increased, the use of Web-based services – from shopping to file sharing to project management – has become routine. Still, one of the prevailing misconceptions regarding the cloud is that it puts your data at risk. Never mind the fact that we all feel comfortable enough with online security and encryption to share credit card numbers, addresses, and other personal information almost daily.

Files Stored in the Cloud Are Actually More Secure

Many lawyers have trouble believing that their data is more secure on a server they may never see or touch than on a computer in their office. The truth is, servers run by professionals and backed by an established IT firm are going to provide more data security than most small to mid-sized law firms can provide.

According to the ABA Web site, “a legitimate argument can be made that files stored on the vendor’s servers are more secure than those located on a typical attorney’s PC, as the vendors often employ elaborate security measures and multiple redundant backups in their data centers.”

Despite the name, “the cloud,” which brings to mind an amorphous, shifting entity, it’s important to remember that files are stored on physical servers in a real-world, secure location with remote, secure backups at additional locations. The servers may not be located onsite in the firm’s own server room, but they exist physically, albeit remotely, in the vendor’s data centers.

This is key for law offices in disaster-prone areas. In the event of a hurricane, flood, tornado or fire, if your office suffers catastrophic damage, you still have access to the important documents and tools that allow the firm to operate.

Files Are Accessible Anytime, from Any Computer

Similarly, if a lawyer loses a laptop on which he has locally-stored, vital information – case files, legal documents, time tracking or appointment information – that data is gone. If he were using cloud-based tools, he could simply log in from a different computer and not miss a beat.

This ubiquitous access also translates into convenience. Lawyers can access the same files and software from home or on the road as they do in the office. They don’t have to settle for a downgrade to a lesser Web-based portal or slow-running mirroring program to do so. What they experience at the office is what they experience when they log in remotely.

Cloud-based Software License Bundles Save Money

Legal Workspace provides seamless IT solutions for almost every aspect of managing a law firm, so the cloud translates into cost savings. We allow the firm to create the perfect suite of software in order to run their practice:

  • Practice Management Software
  • Document Management Software
  • Time & Billing Software
  • Legal Document Generation Automation

By bundling licenses for programs such as Amicus Attorney, Timeslips, Worldox, Quickbooks, Windows, Microsoft® Office®, and more into one cloud-based access license, firms find savings compared to individually buying and renewing multiple software licenses.

As Nick Pournader points out in his article for the ABA’s Law Practice Today, “Embracing Technology’s ‘Cloudy’ Frontier,” making the necessary infrastructure upgrades to stay functional can also add up. “[I]n most law firms, the demands for feature-rich, robust technology solutions often outpace the appetite and/or ability to invest the required capital for traditional, internally deployed and managed solutions. When faced with these circumstances, cloud computing solutions can provide effective alternatives.”

With Legal Workspace’s cloud-based solution, these server upgrades fall to us, and since it’s the backbone of our business, it’s in our best interests (and yours) to stay up to date. For small to mid-sized firms, this means focusing more time on running your law firm and almost no time dealing with expensive, time-consuming infrastructure upgrades.

So – why the cloud? For new firms looking to start with a competitive edge, lawyers branching out on their own on a limited budget, and existing firms assessing the cost of upgrading their current infrastructure, perhaps the question shouldn’t be “Why?” but rather, “When?”


Legal Workspace

Legal Workspace is a cloud-based environment designed specifically for law firms. We host everything you use in your current work environment; including your existing software applications and files and folders, in our secure data center. Our dedicated legal consultants have in-depth knowledge of legal applications and how law firms work. We are able to move firms to the cloud quickly and then train your staff on how to gain efficiency by using different applications. Click here for more information.

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