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October 3, 2016
Every small business needs to be able to save money, time, and effort whenever and wherever it’s possible to do so. Your law firm is no different. Cloud solutions for small businesses allow even the tiniest firms and startups to leverage the most advanced business technologies available today for a fraction of the costs of doing the same things onsite.
Chances are, you’re already using the cloud, even if you don’t realize it. If you have a Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail account or if you use the iCloud or Google Docs, you’re already using cloud services. However, most of these are free (or at least their basic services are), and are consumer grade. What’s the problem with consumer-grade cloud products? Well, they don’t come with the security your law firm needs, and typically don’t offer the higher-level features that the modern business demands.
Cloud solutions for small businesses cover a wide range of services. Here are the most popular for the law firm.
1. Cloud Services for Small Businesses: E-Signing
Almost all documents handled by the law firm have to be signed by someone. A faxed signature quickly fades, and is not always recognized as a legally binding signature, anyway. The best option for getting legal signatures, without bankrupting the firm on overnight shipping costs, is e-signatures. There are numerous companies that offer e-signing services for very reasonable fees. It’s ideal for all law practices, but especially those in rural areas or those who frequently work with clients and parties outside your immediate area.
2. Cloud Services for Small Businesses: Document Management
Document version management is a significant issue for all businesses, but can be a particularly sticky subject for the law firm. It goes like this: someone creates a document. They share it via email with others. Each recipient saves their own copy, which is subsequently modified. Some are emailed back to the document’s creator. Others are passed on to additional recipients, who also save it out and make changes. It’s very easy to see why creating a “paper trail” of who changed what, or determining which is the most recent or relevant version of the document, is next to impossible.
With cloud services, your law firm can save documents to the cloud, where all users access it and work with it, while it stays in the cloud. No unauthorized users can get to it, unlike email, which can easily wind up in the wrong hands. Since everyone works from a centralized version, there is never any question about what the latest version is, and there is a dependable record of who did what to the document and when.
3. Cloud Services for Small Businesses: Data Storage & Backup
Law firms have huge files that must be kept and secured, but only a small fraction of those are currently open and being worked on at any given time. The cloud is ideal for stowing away those cases that nobody is currently working on, while keeping them easily accessible if something does come up and you need them. The cloud is also perfect for backing up your data, so that if something happens to your computers or onsite servers, you still have all your data, files, and relevant notes and information easily available.
4. Cloud Services for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive IT Department
Did you know that you can take advantage of all the modern technology without even having an onsite IT team? The small business or law firm can contract with an IT managed services provider and get all of the tech support they need to grow as a business for a fraction of the cost and hassle of hiring and maintaining a team of techies on staff. As great tech talent becomes increasingly hard to find, this is a great way to get the best tech support without having to pay top dollar for IT staff.
Find out more about how the cloud and IT managed services can help your growing law firm when you download the whitepaper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses.
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