Still stuck on the ground? Then it’s probably time to jump onto a cloud with a silver lining.
A profession which has learnt its trade by reference to books has understandably been reticent about committing its entire business data to a server in the sky; but the tide appears to have at last turned, with lawyers playing catch up with the commercial world in at last adopting cloud based computing.
In a business environment where speed of service has become of paramount importance, the flexibility and stability provided by cloud-based computing has underpinned the legal industry’s ability to deliver a greater level of client service.
For most lawyers the anxiety stalling cloud adoption has centered around security and confidentiality but the realisation that a firm’s own server, even if in a locked cabinet, provides no real security against malware and hackers, fires and floods has dawned. Indeed, data stored remotely in a secure cloud server is probably far less vulnerable from such threats, far better defended than any antivirus software and firewalls operated by an individual law firm.
Whatsmore, in today’s click of a button environment, clients are singularly unimpressed if during a transaction a firm’s server crashes and functionality becomes lost for an uncertain period when cloud-based options provide the ability to switch to a virtual server almost instantaneously enabling seamless business continuity. Could such an episode affect the likelihood of a future instruction? I’d very much think so.
The silver lining to the cloud for the law firm? As well as the financial saving resulting from not having to buy, insure, house, maintain and regularly update costly software, servers and backups, your firm benefits from access to continuously improved, best of breed solutions for both disaster recovery and business continuity. As David Baskerville of Baskerville Drummond, an independent IT consultant explained, “by carefully selecting your vendors and the appropriate systems for your practice, you’ll combine saving with greater efficiency resulting in improved client service”.
Whilst it’s impossible to make any business risk free, whether from data theft or system failures, the reassurance of knowing all your files and data, are being constantly updated, backed up and are readily accessible by any fee earner whether they’re working remotely or in the office means that few firms can justify not paying serious consideration to adopting the cloud.
Jonathan Silverman, Jt Managing Director
First published in Modern Law Magazine – Issue 39