When I think of the cloud, I think of a marshmallow-like floating bubble of air. When someone mentions the ‘cloud’ today, more often than not, they’re talking about a completely different cloud!
Cloud computing, a process of storing your data on the internet rather than on a hard drive, has taken businesses holding a significant amount of data by storm.
Here are the top five reasons to convince your firm to get on the cloud:
- 1. YOUR DATA IS SAFE from earthquakes, floods, and any natural catastrophe coming this way.
With cloud computing, all your firm information and client files are stored through the internet using storage on a server. To put this into simple terms, your information is literally stored on an invisible cloud that is protected from any disaster. The traditional form of storing client files, as required by the Law Society of Upper Canada in physical form, requires a backup plan for the possibility of floods and fires. If your files are on the cloud, you have one less problem to worry about. So instead of worrying about whether your files are safe from water and fire damage, you can focus on serving your clients’ needs.
- 2. YOU CAN WORK AS A TEAM on shared files
We’ve all been there. A pressured deadline for a file that requires more than one set of hands. How do we divide up the work? And how many versions are being sent to the other team members? Cloud computing solves all these issues related to file sharing. With cloud services, such as Google Drive, team members can work on a file together, by seeing all the versions uploaded, and also collaboratively working on a single document together in order to meet that pressured deadline faster.
- 3. YOU CAN ACCESS FILES REMOTELY, from anywhere in the world.
You finally have a well-deserved vacation planned in Barbados, but you still have a few last minute edits on a transaction. With the cloud, that won’t be a problem since you can access the stored files from any computer anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet connection. This innovative change can result in greater productivity, and also promote a healthy work-life balance, since you can get out of the office and take your work on-the-go.
- 4. IT’S CHEAP.
Money makes the world go round - so it’s understandable that a managing partner of a law firm would want to eliminate any unnecessary costs while ensuring firm efficiency. Many cloud computing services, such as Apple and Google, offer a certain amount of storage space for free. Taking advantage of this storage space, and adding on additional storage space on a cost per GB used basis can save a law firm money in a number of ways. The firm won’t be spending substantial expenses on maintaining hardware capable of storing its vast amount of information - additional GB of space can be added as, or when, required.
The firm may also save costs on IT support for the hardware systems holding the firm files.
- 5. EASY ACCESS for your clients
Not only does cloud computing ease the process of file sharing with your team members, but it also simplifies document sharing with clients. You need further information from your client, but you also need to get started on the file? No problem. Sharing a Google document, such as a client checklist, allows your client to fill out additional information as required, while you begin working on the client’s file. Document sharing with clients makes the lawyer’s work transparent, efficient, and easier.
The benefits of cloud computing are not fluffy and insubstantial like ‘real’ clouds. Cloud computing is a necessary innovation for law firms to implement, since it enables lawyers to increase efficiency, reduce costs and enhance the final work product under pressured deadlines. And we all know a faster delivered work product equals a happy client, which equals a happy lawyer.