What Is the Future of Cloud Computing for Law Firms?
July 13, 2017
Even the U.S. Supreme Court Justices likely surf the web. Jokes aside, large law firms have been implementing cloud technology for the past few years. Cloud computing has been proven to provide convenience, scalability, and a lower cost than on-premise hardware and software.
Cloud computing has allowed even the smallest law firm to leverage technology and compete with bigger firms. It’s probably well past time for the solo practitioner or smaller law firm to take advantage of cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing and How Can it Help my Practice?
The most common cloud computing application is data storage. That means your law firm stores data in a remote server provided by a third party. You access that data via the Internet from anywhere you have a WiFi signal and from any digital device.
In addition to storing client data, legal documents, and financial records, there are a number of other ways to take advantage of cloud computing models, including SaaS or Software as a Service. These are applications in the form of business tools that help you organize and run your practice. For example, DropBox is a file-sharing tool that allows storage and collaboration. Rocket Matter is a practice management and billing software platform designed specifically for attorneys. These are just two examples of online software for the small law firm.
These cloud computing models are typically paid for via a monthly subscription service which is an affordable alternative to on-site hardware.
Who’s Using Cloud Computing?
In 2013, the American Bar Association came out with their Legal Technology Survey Report. In it, they found that just 31% of law firms were using the cloud. By 2016 the survey noted cloud computing had increased to 37%, which still signifies slower adoption when compared to other industries. Dennis Kennedy, chair of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center points out, “Cloud computing is slowly becoming a standard approach in legal technology that is being considered by most lawyers. Even with the reservations lawyers have, it is important to note that cloud usage increased significantly in 2016.”
Attorneys in the survey cited concerns about security, data ownership and control, and vendor reputation as reasons to slow their migration to the cloud.
Could your firm benefit by migrating to the cloud?
Most predictions for the future of cloud computing in the law field suggest that adoption will continue to trend upward. That’s in part because the most stoic and conservative of industries, from finance to healthcare, are all moving to cloud models in 2017.
Consumer trends will continue to drive cloud adoption across industries. Simply put, your firm’s technology strategies must consider the immediacy of cloud computing models in light of customer demand.
Law Technology Today suggests that the desktop computer may go the way of the dinosaur; today 80% of office workers are using smartphones and tablets in place of their desktop. New research platforms allowing access to online data and documents have already changed how litigators prepare for trial.
For the small to mid-size law firm, cloud computing offers real flexibility in a low-cost model that allows you to access the same tools as large firms. For these reasons alone, the solo practitioner or small firm should consider cloud computing in the future.
Request a quote to find out how your firm could benefit from cloud computing models.
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