Cloud computing has become ubiquitous in modern society, but law firms have been slower than most to embrace the technology. Recently, however, law firms moving from on-premise data management to the cloud have become the norm due to rapid advancements in cybersecurity, growing customer demand, and the allure of improving efficiency while on the move. reducing costs.
So what are the most common reasons why cloud computing is still so controversial among legal professionals, and what has caused the industry’s shift to cloud migration?
Cloud computing and privacy
One of the driving forces that prevent many law firms from using cloud servers is client privacy. In the practice of law, solicitor-client privilege is essential and cannot be taken lightly. Even today, concerns about confidentiality and ethics are the main reasons why cloud computing can be a controversial topic among those in the legal sector.
In the early days of cloud-based systems, these issues were a valid reason to avoid outsourcing data storage to an offsite server. However, advances in cybersecurity have led the cloud to be often more secure than on-premises servers. Small and medium-sized law firms are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks because they often lack the infrastructure or expertise to keep their servers secure. Even with a secure firewall, a Wi-Fi connection can leave information and files vulnerable to data breach.
Cloud services offer end-to-end encryption, backup servers, expert IT professional teams, and physical security measures, such as securely locked rooms with high-end camera systems and a 24/7 monitoring. These procedures are impossible for law firms to implement at a lower cost than outsourcing.
Cloud Based Law Practice Management Software Works
One of the biggest benefits for businesses using cloud technologies is the benefits of being able to integrate and automate systems. Time-consuming and tedious tasks like planning, invoicing, invoicing, file management, and creating legal documents are all streamlined in the cloud.
With a low barrier to entry and the ability to access their important information when and where they need it, many legal teams who were reluctant to make the change are now migrating to cloud-based systems, as companies move forward. Zoom meetings and online audiences have become the norm.
Is the cloud more reliable than internal systems?
While it has long been believed that internal servers are more reliable and secure than cloud systems, this is no longer the case. Cloud servers provide redundancy which is unmatched by internal servers because the cloud can use a secondary server in the event of a primary system failure. This results in less downtime and a much lower risk of losing files due to equipment error, damage, or data breach.
It’s also common to forget to create backups of local servers, leaving law firms vulnerable to data loss. Cloud systems are able to constantly sync and update themselves, so businesses don’t have to worry about being able to access files or documents.
Cloud technology saves money
While efficiency is important, ultimately companies are trying to improve their bottom line. Cloud technology saves law firms money by increasing their efficiency while eliminating the high cost of storing and maintaining local data. Not only that, but they are able to budget better by avoiding unforeseen costs, which are inevitable when it comes to aging hardware.
Another important cost-saving feature of cloud-based law firm management software is its ability to scale. When data is kept on-premises, scalability is significantly more expensive (and difficult). Law firms using cloud technology can grow without updating or adding hardware, software, IT staff, or other expenses associated with managing data in-house. Being able to focus on growing the business and having predictable and consistent data management costs is a big advantage when scaling up.
What is preventing some legal professionals from moving to the cloud?
Despite the obvious benefits, many law firms are still reluctant to jump into the cloud. Some of the common reasons include:
Unpleasant past experiences
Whether a law firm was an early adopter of cloud technology or has recently had a bad experience with a particular cloud service, unpleasant transitions can make an entire legal team against the idea of cloud technology. Since there have been remarkable advancements in cloud computing recently, past exposure to cloud services should not be taken as representative of how most cloud servers operate.
One of the most common complaints from law firms when trying to switch to cloud technology is a difficult migration process. It is important that companies check the reviews and find out more about what is needed to import their data into the cloud before committing to a cloud computing service.
Due to the heightened oversight and privacy obligations that legal teams are required to adhere to, security concerns persist as a major reason some law firms continue to doubt the use of cloud technology. However, modern cloud computing services generally offer much more secure data storage options than what law firms can provide in-house.
Control and possession of data
Some legal professionals feel that moving to the cloud means giving up control over their important data and documents, as it gives them the peace of mind of having their servers physically nearby. This type of thought pattern inhibits growth by limiting their ability to evolve; in reality, they are not giving up control or possession of their data, they are simply moving it to a more secure and easily accessible place.