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Using Cloud Technology for Small Law Firms

Many of us still believe that cloud technology, also referred to as cloud computing or cloud systems, is obscure and conceptual. But most of us use cloud technology every day when we use Gmail, Netflix, Zoom, Dropbox, and social media applications. Cloud technology is an internet-based network of hosted resources. In other words, when you are using a cloud-based service, you are using technology that lives on remote servers rather than software loaded directly onto your computer, laptop, or tablet.

How Cloud Technology Works

To use a cloud-based service, you access it with your web browser or download an app from the service provider. You don’t have to install any software. The data you interact with are backed up on remote servers housed in controlled environments. The companies that develop and own the cloud-based services make ease of use and security top priorities since these are the main features of their business models.

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Cloud services can be hosted by a third party, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. In the legal field, business software applications are replaced by platforms designed for law firm use on a cloud-based service that is continually updated and monitored for security. Everything from legal research data pools to reusable, fillable forms are offered in the cloud.

Cloud Technology vs. In-house Servers

The long-held belief that in-house servers are more reliable and secure has changed. The reality is that cloud systems are the more reliable and secure option. In-house servers take up space and are vulnerable to data loss due to equipment error, damage, data breach, and require regular backup. Cloud systems offer a level of redundancy that in-house systems can’t meet by using secondary systems when primary systems fail. This reduces the risk of losing data and decreases downtime due to system failure. Cloud technology can sync and save data in real-time,  allowing anyone in a company to access files as they are created and updated regardless of their physical location.

Since clients trust that their attorneys use the latest technology to keep their personal information safe, switching from an in-house server to a cloud system makes more sense. Cloud systems offer features that in-house systems can’t, such as end-to-end encryption, backup servers, experienced IT professionals, and securely locked rooms with 24-hour monitoring systems. Cloud service providers are able to offer these important features at lower costs than an in-house system.

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In addition to security and reliability features, cloud systems offer an easier and more cost-effective way to scale as a law firm grows. Growth leads to more data and the need for more secure storage. Scaling up an in-house server system to accommodate the increasing data can be expensive and time-consuming. By using cloud technology, law firms can scale without paying for new software, equipment, and IT staff. Saving money, having a secure and reliable data management system, and having predictable data management costs are significant benefits of using cloud technology.

Cloud-based Marketing Support

There are many law firms using a variety of cloud-based business solutions, from CRM systems to accounting programs. Law As a Business (LAB) works with elder law and estate planning firms on all aspects of marketing and communications. Contact us today to learn how we can help support your business and help you reach your goals!

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increase the value of your law firm and position to transition

There is a right way and a wrong way to build and then exit a law practice. Specific decisions and actions build value while others do not. Watch this video and learn the steps you should take to create value within your firm and increase desirability to a potential buyer.

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