Technology is moving fast, and the rapid evolution of cloud computing is transforming everyday life for consumers and workers. The brilliance of cloud computing is dominating the tech scene—the simplicity of being able to access information and services when we choose to, is ingenious. It wasn’t always like this.
Cloud computing already touches your life
You may not realise that cloud computing is driving the everyday experiences of modern life; for example: social media, navigation, work, storage, and online shopping. DELL shows us in this slideshow. At work, many companies offer cloud-based applications to employees, and you may be using some of these applications:
Law firms see cloud computing as a major opportunity. LEAP recently ran a survey which collected data from more than 670 professionals who worked in a law practice in Australia. The research showed that cloud computing is highly rated as an opportunity by most Principals and Lawyers. To read more about industry insights from this group, download the Infographic: Leadership.
7 reasons why Cloud is easy
You will have noticed how cloud technology makes some things so easy. Smartphones make navigation a breeze. Cloud at work benefits everyone; the information age reported on the benefits you expect at work, and here are a few:
- The highest security level always; cloud providers ensure that your data is safe and implement ISO standards for encryption and handling, in addition to securing backups of your data.
- Integrated systems for better efficiency
- Managing updates; installing system updates is easy and quick.
- Flexible storage: it is easy to increase storage space.
- Document control: you can be sure that there is only one version of a document being shared. You can collaborate on documents easily, and allow and revoke access at any time.
- 24/7 access: you can always access your data when it is saved in the cloud.
- Compliance: cloud providers maintain regulations that support most corporate governance.
Cloud computing is growing
Cloud computing is now in its second wave, and it is proving to be a popular choice for start-ups, SMEs and large multinational companies. According to CIO.com, “as of February this year AWS is now operating at a greater than $14 billion run rate, with companies such as Capital One, LiveNation, Ancestry going all in on the company’s cloud infrastructure.”
However, the cloud, and AWS, is not just for large companies with vast amounts of data – sole practitioners and start-ups use AWS to boost productivity in their business. The technology analyst Telsyte says that Australia is on track to grow the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market “by over 60 per cent reaching $621M in 2016 and forecast to reach $1.049 billion by 2020.” Telsyte research shows “big data analytics, storage, IoT, artificial intelligence and process digitisation are all driving the demand for cloud services as enterprises work towards modernising legacy systems and deploying new workloads.”
Law firms are joining this group.
Is the Cloud safe?
Many legal practitioners have concerns about moving to a cloud-based system. The security of confidential client data is a large worry, in addition to handing over control of their data to a third party.
Cloud technology can help law firms be more secure against risk. Alvin Tedjamulia’s article published on Lawyers Weekly clearly demonstrates how all law firms “can leverage cloud-based security to protect themselves from future data breaches and safeguard their client data.” He goes on to explain the built-in security enforcers that dispel the myth that data is not safe. For example, cloud platforms can automatically encrypt all data at rest, and “provide a separate and unique encryption key for each document.” Tedjamulia makes a strong point that “the pace of innovation in the cloud is many times faster than a hosted or an on-premises implementation”, and for this reason on-premises systems can’t keep up with cloud security.
If you are concerned about the security of cloud technology, visit LEAP’s technology page to read of the security controls in place with Amazon Web Services.
What about cost?
Cloud computing does not require large upfront costs which makes it affordable for the new sole practitioner and small law firms.
On-premises servers are costly to maintain as traditional servers require regular maintenance and they don’t last forever. There can be costs associated with increasing storage space, and ongoing costs for IT specialists to make changes to users, profiles and service outages. Environmental conditions, such as cooling, space and flooring, must be monitored so there is no harm to the hardware. The location of an on-premise server increases the need for tighter security controls, especially where law firms are concerned. Stricter security measures may include cameras, access cards, and base monitoring, which increase operational costs for businesses.
The Wish List for lawyers
Lawyers wish for a complete practice management platform that runs everything. This is what you can expect when you work in the cloud:
LEAP in the Cloud is an integrated legal and accounting platform which provides everything needed to run a small law firm.
There is no need to over-think moving to the cloud; the benefits are worth it.1