Cloud computing enables law firms to operate in powerful and flexible new ways. For quite some time now, businesses around the world have been losing faith in the on-premise approach to infrastructure and network management – owing to the fact that server-based infrastructures incur a lot more costs, once you factor in purchasing and/replacing hardware at regular intervals.
In 2022, law firms are increasingly looking to the cloud to help drive success within their field. We asked an IT support company from London, known as TechQuarters, who have worked with law firms for years, about how law firms can engage with the cloud, and what benefits they can get.
Applications of the Cloud for Law Firms
Cloud computing is a powerful and versatile technology that is leveraged in many different ways in both business and society. Law firms can access cloud computing in ways that are highly specific to their sector, and other ways that help them in a more generalised capacity. In place where outsourced support is in high demand, such as London IT support companies often use various approaches and solutions that they can apply to any organisation, as well as more specialised solutions for certain types of customers. Below are some examples of applications of the cloud:
Network and Application Hosting
A lot of the time, the cloud is used by businesses in order to host their critical infrastructure, instead of using physical servers in their office to host them. This is known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and companies like Microsoft offer this via their public cloud services. Businesses can also host their applications – making them more accessible for staff – in a similar practice, known as Platform as a Service.
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Another way in which the cloud is often leveraged by law firms is through the use of cloud-based applications. This is essentially software that is hosted in the cloud, and deployed to end-users via a web app (or a desktop app whose data is hosted in the cloud). There are examples of cloud apps that are both specific to law firms, and cloud apps that are just specific to business, such as:
- Clio – This is a cloud-based practice management software that is used by law firms to centralise their work within a single platform. The app is available on desktop, web, and mobile.
- Office 365 – This suite of business applications are entirely cloud-based. Office 365 includes apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams – all of which are ideal for daily business workflows, and which can be accessed across all platforms, at any time.
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Benefits of the Cloud for Law Firms
- Easy Collaboration
Through cloud-based solutions – such as the ones listed above; Clio, Office 365, etc. –law practices can collaborate in much more efficient ways. By centralising files and data in the cloud, for instance, it makes co-authoring work, and file sharing much easier. Cloud-based communications platforms also mean that lawyers and paralegals can communicate from their desk, or via their phone, or anywhere that they can access the web.
- Data Storage
Cloud computing can enable a law firm to centralise all of their data in the cloud. This is not only more secure and resilient to certain risks (such as physical damage of storage devices), but it’s also more flexible. It means that employees don’t need to be in a specific place in order to access the data they need to work. Cloud-based storage means lawyers can work from home, or work on their commute, etc.
- Security and Compliance
Tying in with the previous point, cloud storage and cloud infrastructures are much more secure, and it is easier to keep one’s practices in line with the latest compliance obligations. The legal sector has many data governance policies which one has to comply with, and the cloud can help with this. TechQuarters, the company we spoke to about the cloud, stated that the IT support law firms get from them includes security and compliance as a high priority, and they believe that the cloud is the best way to manage this.