Privacy and compliance are both serious concerns for today’s firms, and the right (or wrong) technology can have a major impact.

Cloud computing is hugely popular with not only legal professionals but professionals in just about every other field and industry. However, the fact that something is popular doesn’t always mean it’s the best option. Especially when you don’t really know what it is this technology does, how it operates, and how it can affect the security, efficiency, and compliance status of your firm.

These unknowns have held a lot of legal professionals back from fully embracing Cloud technology. And as with most of today’s technological advancements, simply asking the right questions to clear up those unknowns can open your firm up to exciting new possibilities.

Can Cloud Computing Offer My Firm Adequate Security?

In the most basic terms, Cloud computing refers to a category of software and services delivered over the Internet rather than installed locally on a user’s computer. Because cloud computing places data – including client data – on remote servers that are outside of your direct control, it causes some concern regarding client confidentiality and the applicable rules of professional conduct.

As more of your firm’s data is generated and stored in digital formats, storing that growing volume of data securely becomes a challenge. There was a time in the not so distant past that in order for a thief to get their hands on your data, they needed to physically enter your office to steal file boxes and paper documents, or even computer or server hard drives. Now, all that’s required is some knowledge of computers and software, and a thief can hack into that material from afar. They don’t even have to be in the same country, much less in the same city or neighborhood.

How is this risk an argument in favor of Cloud computing? Simple – the Cloud offers a level of access control, data protection, and oversight that onsite alternatives can no longer compete with.

With secure Cloud computing, your firm benefits from:

  • Greater Accessibility – Access your files anytime and from anywhere without compromising the integrity of your files, or hindering your ability to work on a case.
  • Compliance Assistance – Outdated software and hardware may expose client data to hackers because your onsite servers and workstations are outdated, or your network is lacking the latest cybersecurity measures. Reputable Cloud computing platforms are built with security in mind and can improve your compliance posture simply be eliminating the variables that come with onsite, self-managed technology.
  • Enhanced Monitoring – Data breaches are always a concern, especially as cybercriminals continue to come up with new ways to sidestep your defenses. The Cloud offers 24/7 monitoring and exceptionally sophisticated software designed to offer the best protection available against all manner of threats.

Does The Cloud Offer More Than Just Security?

Going back to accessibility, one of the best features of Cloud computing is the positive impact it has on productivity and efficiency. Downtime of any kind will cost your firm billable hours that you can’t get back, but it’s not the only hit to productivity you could be facing.

Smaller law firms, in particular, have seen a drop in productivity of about 9% in recent years due to the fact that they’re simply not making the most of their time. The amount of non-billable time legal professionals put in each month negatively impacts your firm’s bottom line, and often billable time is just not recorded properly, lost in the typical chaos of a typical workday. There is also the issue of increased demand for thorough document management, which can add tedious steps to just about everything you do for any given case.

Cloud computing offers a means of improving document management by making it less likely for documents to be misfiled or otherwise lost within your network. The Cloud can also help by:

  • Streamlining repetitive tasks and auto-completing others
  • Improving your ability to accurately track billable hours even when you’re out of the office
  • Create and share documents on the go without needing to email files back and forth between team members, risking that not everyone will have the correct or most recent information
  • Pull up briefs, notes, discovery, etc. as needed to eliminate extensive prep needing to be done before leaving the office – move from one case to the next while moving from one case to the next

Is Cloud Computing The Right Fit For My Firm?

No technology is one-size-fits-all, but the challenges faced by one firm are more often than not very similar to those faced by another. The best way to know for sure? Speak to a legal IT provider, and find out more about how your firm can benefit from what Cloud computing has to offer.

Contact the legal IT professionals at Setton Consulting at {phone} or {email}, and ask us about the Legal Cloud Technology available to your firm.