Head of Marketing & Communication
Is the Cloud the silver lining?
COVID-19 has changed everything. I think it’s safe to say that remote working and distance communications may be the tip of the iceberg for how legal services could be delivered going forward. In this time of ‘lock-down’, thanks to Cloud based technology many firms are able to continue offering uninterrupted services to their clients. For those who embraced cloud-based technology disruption to the delivery of their services has been minimal. For others the race is on to find the right cloud technology for their business.
Reaching for the Cloud
The cloud offers the flexibility demanded by these rapidly changing and uncertain times. One of our larger partners switched to remote working. Most of them would have normally only worked in the office beforehand. Within 24 hours, their entire team switched and are now working efficiently from home, due to the cloud-based tech they had in place.
What we’ve seen over the past week or so is that firms who aren’t already on the cloud are feeling a bit left behind in terms of being able to continue to operate well – if at all in very challenging times.
Having the ability to work remotely and securely in a crisis is just one of the many benefits of using cloud computing software in your law firm. If your firm is working from an in-house server, no doubt the recent COVID-19 pandemic has got you thinking about changing how you store your business data? If so, keep reading as we aim to outline some of the key benefits of doing exactly that.
The Benefits of the Cloud
Good Cloud-based software gives you so many benefits and advantages. It allows you to manage your contacts, track and analyse your firm’s data, and stay on top of your firm’s day-to-day business. Putting you more in control than ever before. Time wasted on administrative tasks can be reduced by using law practice management software, allowing law firms to run more efficiently. In other words, cloud-based computing makes it easy for lawyers to automate their firms and reduce inefficient, redundant processes.
Access to your system whenever you want it is now critical. So, for example, lawyers can easily assign and manage tasks, track deadlines, and securely communicate and share information with clients, including court dates, legal documents, and case updates simply by using cloud-based software. Simply put, web-based access makes it easy for you to work effectively and efficiently from anywhere at any time. You can create and store legal documents, share invoices and more using any internet-enabled device. The benefits are many, and cloud computing software like Denovo’s whole practice management software solution, CaseLoad, is a tool that can make it all possible.
One of the factors that contributes to the success of any business is control. Unfortunately, no matter how in control your organisation may be when it comes to its own processes, there will always be things that happen which are completely out of your control. But while there may be no way for you to prevent or even anticipate the disasters that could potentially harm your organisation, there is something you can do to help speed your recovery. Cloud-based services provide quick access to data and recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios, from natural disasters and power outages to global pandemics.
If your business isn’t investing in a cloud-computing solution, then all of your valuable data is inseparably tied to the office computers it resides in. This may not seem like a problem, but the reality is that if your local hardware experiences a problem, you might end up permanently losing your data. Or if you have to make a decision to work from alternative locations you will not be able to get access to the files you need. This is a problem right now. If you aren’t on the cloud, you have no way of accessing all the information you had saved locally. With a Cloud-based server, however, all the information you’ve uploaded to the cloud remains safe and easily accessible from any computer with an internet connection, even if the computer you regularly use isn’t working or available.
A lot of businesses have security concerns when it comes to adopting a cloud-computing solution. If you can remotely access your data, then what’s stopping a cybercriminal from doing the same thing? Well, quite a bit, actually. A Cloud host’s entire job is to carefully monitor security, which is significantly more efficient than any conventional in-house system.
Cloud computing allows mobile access to data via smartphones and devices, which is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. Whether it’s team members with busy schedules, or those who live a long way away from the office, they can use it to keep instantly up to date with clients and co-workers.
The cloud offers businesses more flexibility overall versus hosting on a local server. And, if you need extra bandwidth, a cloud-based service can meet that demand instantly, rather than undergoing a complex (and expensive) update to your IT infrastructure. This improved freedom and flexibility can make a significant difference to the overall efficiency of your business.
There are few things as detrimental to the success of a business as poor quality and inconsistent reporting. In a cloud-based system, all documents are stored in one place and in a single format. With everyone accessing the same information, you can maintain consistency in data, reduce human error, and have a clear record of any revisions or updates.
Many Cloud-based storage solutions, Like CaseLoad, offer integrated cloud analytics to view your data at a glance. With your information stored in the cloud, you can easily implement tracking mechanisms and build customised reports to analyse information firm wide. From those insights, you can increase efficiencies and build action plans to meet your personal and business goals.
Automatic Software Updates:
Waiting for system updates to be installed is not fun, but with cloud-based technology, the cloud server supplier regularly updates your software including the updates on security, so that you do not need to agonize on wasting your crucial time on maintaining the system. You find extra time to focus on the important things like how to grow your business.
Cloud computing makes collaboration a simple process. Team members can view and share information easily and securely across a cloud-based platform. Such capability helps in improving the customer service. Collaboration may be possible without a cloud-computing solution, but it will never be as easy, nor as effective.
Cloud computing is helping firms reduce their carbon footprint. Firms only utilise the amount of resources they need, which helps them to avoid any over-provisioning. Hence, no waste of resources and thus energy.
If you are worried about the price tag that would come with making the switch to cloud computing, you aren’t alone. But those who are attempting to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud need to consider more factors than just initial price. They need to consider ROI. Once you’re on the cloud you just have to pay as you operate it and enjoy the model based on your subscription plan.
Move to the Cloud quickly and remotely?
Moving to the cloud quickly really depends on the size of the firm and legacy data in place. If a data conversion was involved it would take a bit more time. For firms who don’t have cloud in place they would be able to onboard reasonably quickly, within a few weeks, with some guidance, remote training and support. Its important to reiterate that every situation is unique, the best thing any firm needing help can do is get in touch with a cloud-based software provider and have a chat around what they want to achieve in either the short or long term.
It is entirely possible to move to the cloud remotely. A cloud server can be provisioned and configured really quickly these days. You have the added bonus of eliminating the waiting time for hardware to be delivered and installed. Once in place firms will have a secure and robust system which will future proof their business data.
If you are looking for advice on how to go about introducing the cloud or you have general questions about using technology to get you through this challenging period, we’re here to help. We are always here for our customers but are happy to speak with and help any law firms who are struggling with technology. We will do our best to help without any obligation or sales element.
To learn more about how to put your business on the cloud to allow remote working, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0141 331 5290.