Can Legal Cloud Computing Help Your Firm?

Can Legal Cloud Computing Help Your Firm?

Companies from all over the world and from all types of industries are quickly moving to cloud computing. Cloud storage has quickly gained popularity over the last year since Google, Microsoft and Apple have all announced their own respective cloud services. Independent storage companies have also started widening their suite of offerings to include cloud services. Cloud computing is an advancement in the way business is done today, and more and more businesses are using it to optimize their office productivity. Should law firms start transitioning to the cloud?

Cloud computing is a relatively simple concept to understand; in fact most of us already use cloud software on a regular basis. Gmail and Google Docs are two prime examples of cloud-based services. Cloud software is accessed over the Internet through a browser or via an app. Cloud software can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Basically, cloud computing allows your data to be mobile, transferable, and instantly accessible. The ability to synch up your data among your devices and gain access to shared data is reason enough to utilize cloud computing in a business environment. However, law offices and the lawyers who work there need to be cautious about what they use the cloud for because of potential privacy concerns.

Cloud computing can be a very useful tool for law firms, as long as lawyers take reasonable steps to ensure client confidentiality. Layers should perform due diligence to understand if their client communication and billing data is safe. All communication to the cloud server should be encrypted under at least 128-bit SSL encryption, servers must be physically secure under lock and key, backups should be routinely performed, and a customer should be able to retrieve their data. In reality, using the cloud may be more secure than your current setup. With responsible cloud providers, your data is under lock and key with 24-7 surveillance.  If your data lives in the cloud, then there’s less to worry about in terms of security, since very little data is stored on the computer.

Legal cloud computing offers your firm more flexibility. If all of the firm’s data is in the cloud, any web browser will do. The same goes for the type of device being used, whether it’s a Mac, PC, or tablet. The lawyers in the office won’t be tied to any particular device, and can have the same user experience. Cloud computing will also make it much easier to share files. Being able to send large files to others without transferring physical drives is one of the defining benefits of the cloud. Email limits file sizes; to address this, there are cloud based email programs that specialize in transmitting massive files over a cloud network to anyone you want. Another benefit is backup capabilities. Instead of relying on a file cabinet or external hard drive for your archiving system, your office can use the backup services built into the cloud.  

Undoubtedly, cloud computing is the future. In terms of legal cloud computing, there are many benefits that can be used uniquely by law firms to increase productivity and streamline operations. It won’t solve all the problems inherent to running a law firm, but it is a helpful, new direction for data management in the legal industry. 


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Member since 12/29/2015

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