More and more UK law firms are migrating to Cloud technology in order to harness the many benefits and opportunities it provides (indeed, we published a recent blog post on the subject). For those that remain unconvinced and are reticent to make the leap, let us offer reassurance and describe the top four benefits of your law firm moving to the Cloud. See here for the Cloud installation process for Law firms.
- 1. Will I be able to access my files from home or from my other office branch?
- 2. Now my data is on the Cloud, is it safe and secure?
- 3. What if I lose my laptop – is my data safe?
- 4. Will I still be able to print to my local printers and can I scan documents?
- 5. What will happen to my old server?
- 6. What happens if my broadband fails or is not fast enough for Cloud computing?
- 7. Will my data continue to be backed up on a regular basis?
Top 4 Benefits of Cloud Computing for UK Law Firms
1. Enhanced Security
Security is an issue that is paramount in the legal industry and this is indeed one of the key benefits of migrating to the Cloud. Many Partners prefer the in-house server to be present in their own legal firm. The tangible techno-box of case files that, even if broken or inefficient, remains safe and secure in the lawyers’ office. There exists a general assumption that the server is best housed internally where Partners can keep an eye on it. However, even the most secure legal buildings are much more vulnerable to break-ins, fires and flooding than dedicated data centres.
With cloud technology, your files are safe and secure in a purpose built data centre where every eventuality has been considered and preventative measures put in place. In a Cloud system, your data can be backup up twice daily for 30 days, saving on expensive and troublesome backup tapes/drives. Not only that, your data is subject to excellent redundancy measures in the event of a disk failure. Disk drives are mirrored in a entirely different data centre locations (often referred to as N+1 resilience), so even in the event of fire or flood, your data remains safe and intact. In terms of theft, the data centres have impenetrable security, incorporating the latest security technologies. In terms of online threats, the data centres employ the most advanced Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Network Behavioural Analysis (NBA) and Denial-of-Service (DoS) Protection – fully protecting your data from existing and future network security threats, viruses and malware.
Even the most advanced office premises tend not to offer this level of security, disaster planning, and redundancy systems. Historically, these technologies were only available to international blue chip organisations and were quite simply prohibitively expensive for most firms. Now these benefits come as standard, as part of your Cloud software solution, incorporated into one affordable monthly fee.
2. Greater Scalability
With Cloud technology, regardless of which size of solution you opt for at the outset, this can be up scaled with ease. Another main benefit of using Cloud technology is the ability to introduce modular or scalable technologies. Should your data exponentially increase, Denovo can instantly increase the size of your disk drives to fully accommodate your data. This removes the pressure associated with ensuring at the outset that your solution is future-proofed. Components can easily be added at a time convenient to you.
Additionally, advice and support are offered at each stage of the process. Whether you require additional backup features, an increased hard drive, or another software licence, we are fully equipped to instantly and effortlessly implement your requirements. Denovo have the ability to make alterations to your Cloud solution remotely and we understand the need to act quickly.
Frequently legal firms make alterations to their business, perhaps by introducing new staff or new systems and your Cloud provider ought to have the ability to tailor their systems to accommodate the law firm. Denovo handle requests such as this on a daily basis and are fully equipped to implement requests at short notice.
3. More Cost Effective
It is without dispute that costs factor into almost ever decision that we make as consumers and as business owners. With Denovo’s Cloud based software solutions, law firms across the UK can be reassured that one monthly fixed fee affords them all the accessibility, support and resilience that they require. With Denovo’s Intelligent Cloud Software, our approach to Cloud costs are certainly more appealing.
With Cloud technology, expensive components are not required, such as backup drives, disks, servers and associated hardware, ongoing software updates and releases, virus protection, firewalls, and expensive network routing equipment, UPS batteries and so on. All of these components are incorporated under the Cloud system and ensures that your data is stored, managed and updated at a reasonable monthly fee.
This all occurs seamlessly and law firms need not worry about remembering backups, restorations, and ensuring all staff are working on the same software versions. All of these issues are taken care of under one umbrella solution with Cloud technology.
4. Enables Flexible Working
One of the main features that Cloud technology offers is the ability to work from anywhere, anytime on practically any device. Frequently law firms suffer at the hands of the British weather and this was certainly the case a few years ago when many Scottish firms reported weeks of downtime as a result of snow. This had an enormous impact of fees and cash-flow for a significant number of firms. This situation highlights one of the key benefits of moving to Cloud technology.
Partners and fee earners can work from home in the event that they cannot travel to the office, enjoying full access to case files as though they were in the office. Functionality is identical and means staff can still have access to diaries, case files, contacts, and emails. It matters not whether the home technology is an Apple Mac, iPad, laptop or desktop PC – the ability to connect to the Cloud is ever-present. This flexibility is indeed attractive to those who simply choose to work from home, such as those employed on a flexi-time arrangement, those who have family commitments and so on.
The flexibility afforded to fee earners is simply overwhelming. Access to the Cloud server is available from any location in the world with an internet connection or WIFI facility. Additionally, iPad or Tablet users with sufficient 3G or 4G cellular access have even greater freedom to roam far from a wired internet or WIFI connection. The ability to work remotely is becoming much more appealing to progressive, forward thinking firms.
Cloud for Law Firms FAQ’s
Below is our guide to the most frequently asked questions regarding the cloud.
There are always a number of questions that frequently arise and we have attempted to answer the most common questions as follows:-
1. Will I be able to access my files from home or from my other office branch?
Yes – that is one of the main benefits of Cloud based software. You can access your files from home (on any Windows based laptop of desktop PC which has Windows 7 or 8). In addition you can access your files through your tablet (e.g. iPad or Samsung/other tablet). All you need is either a wired internet connection (using cables) or a WIFI connection (which is wireless). If you have WIFI or wired internet access, you can access your Cloud system anywhere!
2. Now my data is on the Cloud, is it safe and secure?
We have an incredibly secure data centre with excellent redundancy and backup systems in place. Even in the event of flood or fire, your data is completely safe. In terms of security, your data is encrypted and password protected to a very high level. Only you are issued with your Cloud password. The login details we issue to you meet the strict criteria for password security and ensure your data remains safe and secure.
3. What if I lose my laptop – is my data safe?
Yes – even if your laptop is lost or stolen, you are the only one who has your Cloud login details and password. Your data is stored remotely and securely on the Cloud servers and without the appropriate login details nobody can access the data on your Cloud server. We strongly recommend you do not write your login/password details down or store it on your laptop. That ensures your data is completely safe and secure even in the event of your hardware being lost/stolen.
4. Will I still be able to print to my local printers and can I scan documents?
Yes, we will reconfigure all of your local printers and multi-function machines/scanners in order that they can print and scan as before. This is providing that your printers are capable of being operated under a Cloud environment. Any print macros will be reloaded in your Cloud environment. You shouldn’t notice any changes to how you print or scan.
5. What will happen to my old server?
We are able to securely destroy this for you. This can include your server, any old PCs that are being replaced and generally any unwanted equipment. There will be a nominal charge for this as we will securely destroy any sensitive data on your equipment. In terms of your old server, we recommend that you retain your existing server for a few weeks after changeover to the Cloud. In our experience, clients can sometimes ask for an item of data from their old server that they initially thought was not needed. In light of that, we recommend retaining the server for a few weeks. Thereafter we are happy to remove it for you.
6. What happens if my broadband fails or is not fast enough for Cloud computing?
We will have carried out a thorough speed check prior to installation and will have discussed the findings with you. Once on the Cloud, if you discover the system is too slow, we can guide you through what is involved in an upgrade and will suggest you liaise with your telecoms provider for upgraded lines. In terms of a potential broadband failure, this is a very rare event, usually due to a problem with the telecoms exchange. This only affects a limited geographical location. It is our experience that this is rectified very quickly indeed, usually within a couple of hours at the very latest. This highlights one of the key advantages of the Cloud which is the ability to work from any geographical location.
7. Will my data continue to be backed up on a regular basis?
We are frequently asked about how backups operate. Clients tend to have their own backup discs/tapes in situ where they have an in-house server. These tapes have to be changed daily or weekly, depending on your policy. Under a Cloud environment, we arrange for daily backups of your data. Backups take place at the data centre. This is all handled for you and happens automatically. The backup infrastructure is incredibly robust and has been purposefully designed that way to ensure you have backups available should you need them. Should you accidentally delete something or require a document restored for whatever reason, simply contact Denovo who will swiftly attend to that for you.
Videos on Cloud Computing & Security for Law Firms
You can also watch our recent introductory videos from our recent legal conference, much of which concerns cloud computing for law firms:-
This seminar is now available online – in full and for free! To get access to this great CPD resource, click here now.
Cloud Computing For Law Firms UK (Scotland, England & Wales, Northern Ireland)
If you wish to set aside the scepticism and embrace Cloud technology, Denovo Business Intelligence are experts at understanding the needs of lawyers. Let us talk to you about a bespoke solution for your business.
Contact Denovo today for a free evaluation of your existing system and future needs to discuss how we can help you take your law firm to the next level. Helping law firms in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Manchester Birmingham and across the UK, we will explain how we can help you operate more profitably – we are not an overhead, we are a profit generator.