Demystifying Cloudy Choices: The Benefits of Using a Private Cloud
Automating everything from intake to invoice gives your firm the best opportunity to thrive. Those who do not embrace cloud-based legal technology will soon struggle to survive. Firms that become operationally efficient, work smarter, and deliver superior client-facing resources will outpace those who continue to rely on paper-based methods, no matter the firm’s size. In this post, we look at how the benefits of using a private cloud explicitly helps firms outpace their competition.
Does the mere idea of connecting to a cloud make you uneasy? You’re not alone. Many lawyers naturally resist the idea of letting confidential matter and case information be anywhere other than inside their own locked offices. A solid idea in concept, but in reality, you’re more vulnerable without a cloud connection than you may realize. Not having a connected cloud puts your practice at risk, and it may be costing you clients in today’s world.
There are many benefits for a law firm to start using cloud solutions. Maybe you’ve been dragging your feet because it seems like a disruption and you can’t afford the downtime. Or perhaps it’s because technology choices create analysis paralysis. No matter the reason for delay, your time to act is now and a private cloud solution is your firm’s best option.
Why Legal Firms need a Private Cloud
Your Spidey senses are correct in that not all cloud choices are equal. Once you accept that you need to move you on premise applications to a cloud, you’ll quickly realize the benefits of a private cloud. A private cloud solution is the best option for security-conscious firms because it enables you to select the applications you wish to make available via a virtual desktop — from a hand-picked few or all the applications that your firm relies on. Think employees, partners, and clients. It offers scalability and elasticity with additional control and customization. A cloud option provides a higher level of security and privacy, which is paramount for legal firms. Typically, your IT talent manages and maintains the applications on your server. However, a least one legal-centric private cloud solution takes this responsibility off your hands as well.
Still cloudy on the benefits?
No matter whether you’re a sole practitioner or legal firm of 50, you can immediately reap nine significant benefits of private cloud solution :
- Digitally secure. With next-level encryption.
- Zero capital investment. It matters to the accountants.
- Physically secure. Think Fort Knox. Or Area 51.
- Freedom from disaster-recovery worries.
- Flexibility. Easily expandable based on business.
- Scalable. Grows as you grow.
- Device agnostic. Mac, PC, IOS, Android. They all connect.
- One number support.
- Automatic upgrades. So, you don’t have to.
An additional benefit of a private cloud is that it instantly ups your client experience game. Leading law firms are already using technology. Utilizing an all-in-one practice management solution hosted in the cloud enables you to level the playing field when closing new client business.
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” — Latvian Proverb
Private clouds make it easy to keep up with every-evolving data security
No system is 100% secure from cyber-attacks and physical damage or loss. Cyber crimes are a real threat. As then-FBI Director Robert Mueller famously stated in 2012,
“there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.”
By acknowledging the threat, you’ve taken the first step in preparation. Cloud solutions may seem intuitively less secure than an in-house server alone, but that’s like saying you’re safer being in your home with a baseball bat instead of in a panic room patrolled by highly trained, armed security guards 24/7.
Want more information on how private cloud computing can help increase revenue, reduce costs and maximize efficiencies? Download our free whitepaper, A Case for the Cloud today!
A managed private cloud comes with IT security experts
You’re a lawyer, not a security guard. You wouldn’t get on the stand as an expert witness to build your case. You’d search for and hire the perfect expert to testify so that you knew you were putting your best effort forward to win your client’s case.
So why wouldn’t you give the same care and attention to your most important legal possession: your case files and client communications? Choose to let experts manage and secure your data in a safe, off-site location.
Almost half of the reasons for a private cloud involve security
As you peruse the list of 9 benefits, note that nearly half (4) of those benefits directly relate to security:
- Digital security. Data encryption deters cyber threats. Encryption is a journey; it evolves as threats evolve.
- Physical security. Keeping your physical server in a guarded location is generally much more secure than keeping your only copy of your confidential files in a server room in your office.
- Unexpected disasters. Flood, fire, theft, and other natural disasters instantly become a non-issue. Your on-premise server is always connected to the private cloud, which is always backed up to a duplicate server. This “redundancy” of backups, typically in other physical locations, ensures that even if your primary system goes down in a disaster, your backup will be ready to go immediately without any data loss.
- Ongoing Upgrades. Many people fail to do recommended upgrades when they are released. You get notified at an inconvenient time. You don’t want to shut down and restart. You can’t tell the whole office to turn off their computers. But many times, those upgrades include patches that fix found security vulnerabilities. And every day that you don’t do the update is another day you’re at greater risk. The private cloud can deliver your upgrades automatically, so you close those vulnerabilities as quickly as possible.
What if you’re feeling secure — should you still explore the cloud?
The threats from data breaches alone should be enough for you to commit to making the move to the cloud today. If they’re not, then consider the other five significant benefits:
- There’s no capital investment. That looks good on your books and you need not make a huge investment to begin.
- It’s flexible. If your next case is data-heavy and getting more digital space is easy.
- Scalability. When you land a big piece of business and need to staff up, your server grows with you.
- Device agnostic. Look for practice software and cloud solutions that will work with all your devices. Whether you or your clients have Macs or PCs, whether your smartphones or tablets are Apple IOS or Android, you’re going to want to ensure they all will connect.
- One-number support. No system is perfect. And you’ve got lots of tools, from email to accounting to case management. With the right practice software and cloud solution, you can resolve your potential issues with one phone number, instead of chasing down where the issue is coming from yourself.
Select a proven private cloud provider
It’s especially critical for legal firms, where all client data is confidential to select a cloud vendor who is the “guardian of your data” with the capabilities to lead, manage and coordinate continuity of your business. This would include replication of data in the cloud at fixed intervals depending on the criticality of your data. Ensuring that the firm can fall back on this replicated data in the event of an emergency.
Minimize your firm’s risk today
Every day that you keep your data on premise is another day where you are at risk of a potentially unrecoverable loss. Take the hassle of data management off your plate and embrace the benefits of a private cloud.