23 Apr Cloud based law firm management gains momentum
Cloud based law firm management software is gaining adoption momentum as professional services of all flavors are making the move to the cloud, according to research from NexisLexis, with mobility and disaster recovery as the top two drivers for legal cloud adoption.
The legal system doesn’t change quickly and that’s by design. If the practice and administration of law was easy to change it happen too frequently and possibly destabilize the whole system. So it’s no surprise that lawyers have been slow to adopt cloud-based law firm management software, but that might be changing soon as the study found that almost 75 percent of respondents said they would have some form of cloud-based law firm management software in place by the end of 2014.
Some of the more popular cloud software modules among lawyers will include billing, electronic signature, client relationship management, document management and project management according to an article from the American Bar Association.
Naturally an industry as data-sensitive as the legal industry will show some resistance to trusting their client information to exist on an outside server. However, all the data from the last decade or more of cloud computing shows that the cloud model is more secure than traditional methods, and lawyers are starting to dip their toes in.
“Due to the very nature of law firms, the storage of sensitive information in an external environment has naturally been met with some caution,” said Peter Groucutt in a recent CloudTech article about legal cloud in the UK. “While early-movers have been experimenting with cloud services for some time now, the majority of the sector has been hesitant to adopt until recently.”
Of course not all cloud services are created equal. Lawyers and firms can protect themselves by finding a hosting partner that has experience delivering cloud services to professional service industries, public companies and other heavily regulated industries. Providers who make their bread and butter serving these data-sensitive industries will have best-in-class security, regulatory compliance and disaster recovery practices. Many often will have dedicated security and compliance officers to protect the legality of their clients’ data.
When you combine the security benefits with the efficiency and access benefits of cloud computing, it is easy to see how law firms can benefit from cloud base law firm management software.
“In my opinion, it’s not even an option to go server-based, the reason being when you’re sharing data with multiple lawyers in multiple locations–mobility is an absolute necessity, Josh Camson, a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney said in an interview at myCase.com. “When using a cloud-based system there are less headaches because you don’t have to worry about IT maintenance for your server. With cloud computing, it’s the cloud provider’s problem and because each provider has many users, together the users have a stronger collective voice and thus any known issues that crop up are quickly corrected.”
“Going forward, we will be able to handle everything ourselves,” said Effekt partner Jesper Lindhardt. “From financial management, time tracking and document management, to filing. Without this solution, our administrative tasks would require hiring a full-time administrative assistant.”