Plus and Minus of Cloud Computing for Law Firms
April 24, 2017
Law firms are looking to the cloud to help with business growth, client relationships, and secure data warehousing that is safe from online threats. The cloud delivers all these advantages and much more, but what are the disadvantages to the cloud?
The cloud concept is solid, but there is the human element involved that can create a few problems. Many of these problems come from negligence, vengeance, and greed.
As more law firms move their businesses into the cloud there are concerns about security, cost, and scalability of services. The cloud offers the following advantages:
- Mobile flexibility – You have access to all of your files from anywhere there is an Internet connection. You can literally be in court, whip out your tablet and access records in your office. If opposing council is not connected to the cloud, then you have a huge advantage right off the bat.
- BYOD – Bring your own device means you can connect from any device you have setup up on your network. In most cases, cloud software is not dependent on a specific operating system. So, you can connect with your Apple laptop or your Kindle Fire, and have full access to your files seamlessly.
- Savings – Software can be expensive. Cloud providers offer the same software for a monthly fee, instead of having to pay an outright initial cost. Also, cloud providers will keep your computers updated, and there is no additional IT staff you are responsible for. Learn more – download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses
- Growth – As your firm grows so will the number of employees. Cloud computing lets you add these new assets to your company without the additional cost of purchasing new software or licenses. A whole new department can be created with their own server, and all you have to do is make a phone call to your cloud provider, explain what you need, and continue about your day.
With any form of technology, there will be challenges. Things do happen, but in most cases, the problem is not your firm or the provider, but human error. The short list of potential disadvantages you may encounter with the cloud include:
- Ransomeware— This virus is becoming more popular with hackers. It is a virus that locks all your computers out of your network, and all you see is a splash screen on your monitor that tells you to send money to get your network back. The number one cause that initiates this virus is employees clicking on a link in an email. Although this risk does exist, the good news is that cloud providers will have your system backups mirrored on a server, so it would not take long to get you back up and running. Buy the book ‘Easy Prey: How to Protect Your Business From Data Breach, Cybercrime and Employee Fraud’
- Total Access – An angry IT employee from your firm can go home, access the network and try to disable it or delete files. This is not as uncommon as you would think. If your cloud provider is notified ahead of time, then access to the network can be denied immediately. If data issues do occur from the disgruntled employee, then your cloud provider can work on replacing lost data at night while you sleep. When you return to work the next day it would be as though nothing happened.
The bottom line is cloud service providers provide a valuable service. It’s a service they are specialized in and extremely proficient at. They have run through multiple scenarios related to ‘what ifs’ and worked to establish efficiency in protecting their clients (you) from any and all disasters. This is what we do, let us work for you. Get a free assessment and see the advantages TOSS C3 can offer your law firm.
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