Today’s attorneys continue to face new pressures, challenges, and requirements, but also new opportunities. The past 30 years have provided attorneys with new ways to access data, track billable hours, simplify discovery, and lower costs and the past decade or so has seen attorneys moving towards cloud computing and hosting as a way to access data.
While the ideas and underlying frameworks for hosting have existed for decades, advancements in internet access and security have made the idea of cloud computing more and more palatable—a recent ABA report found that only 4 percent of attorneys would not consider using cloud services.
There are many reasons that a law firm would want to consider moving software, infrastructure, or platforms to the cloud, and following the launch of our new blog, we would today like to start with the basics of hosting.
Hosting: The Access, Reliability, and Compliance You Need
Whether you need anytime, anywhere access to applications, files, or have other unique needs, hosting has become a way for law firms and other businesses who need it. For many years, businesses of all industries have looked for ways to improve this access, reduce IT costs, and increase productivity, finding that the move away from a local server provided a way to make these goals a reality.
However, in the highly regulated and compliance-based legal world, professionals rightfully spent the early years taking a wait-and-see approach, testing the waters by using storage applications or backup solutions as they waited for guidance and proof.
What started with a few applications has continued to expand, and many attorneys today are opting to move a majority of their operations offsite.
Reasons Attorneys Have Moved to Host Applications in the Cloud
There are many reasons that attorneys have embraced cloud applications for their business ranging from simple yet necessary solutions such as email to more complex applications made accessible via internet browser, all the way up to complete desktop delivery.
Mobility—Working on the Fly
Attorneys have always needed to be mobile. Whether this mobility was from multiple offices, home, a client’s location, or the courthouse, information needed to travel with them. For many firms, this was one of the top reasons they tested the waters on cloud applications in the first place: A secure way to access documents on the go.
From the initial decision to leverage cloud storage to the decision to host discovery, practice management, document management, and more, attorneys need secure access whenever they need it, wherever they are. With the next decade showing a continued push towards telecommuting, the demand for this access will only rise.
Reduced Reliance on IT
From small practices to large firms, IT management has become increasingly complex. Whether in the form of managing the IT department internally or leveraging outside resources, the process of maintaining on-premises software and hardware has increased in costs without offering increased benefit.
When firms move their applications and infrastructure to the cloud, they are freeing themselves of the hassles of server maintenance and management. Updates, upgrades, installations, and support all happen in the background with minimal (if any) downtime.
Security, Privacy, and Compliance
One of the biggest reasons attorneys in the past avoided the move to the cloud is that it wasn’t “secure” enough for them, opting to use thumb drives, as discussed in this 2012 ABA article on how to work securely from anywhere. Today, however, the tide has shifted and the idea of carrying files away from the office on a thumb drive seems dangerous.
When law firms move to the cloud, they are opting to increase security. Prior to cloud computing all of your data and applications were stored within a single machine. If that device is lost or gets stolen your data is vulnerable to third party intrusion. Cloud computing eliminates this threat completely. Your data is stored off site in our data center. We provide and maintain protection against third party intrusion. Think of the data center like a bank vault for your data. Only authorized users have access to it.
Flywire Technology: Leading the Way in Law Firm Hosting
At Flywire, we’ve been in the business of providing our clients the anytime and anywhere access they want while providing the security, reliability, and flexibility they need. In the coming months, we will continue to explore the basics of hosting for law firms, introducing you to more reasons you should make the move and potential applications that can help your firm grow.