Hosting Aderant in the Cloud – What You Need to Know

What Every Law Firm Needs to Know about Hosting Aderant in the Cloud

Aderant is a practice management solution for law firms that provides solutions for time tracking, billing, business intelligence, budgeting, risk management, and data management. Law firms can pick and choose which features they’d like to use. Aderant can be used by a one-person law office or a law firm with thousands of employees across the nation. Not only is Aderant powerful, but with the right platform, lawyers and key staff can access Aderant even when they’re not in the office. This is done by hosting Aderant in the cloud.

Related: Aderant – An Uptime Legal Review

Cloud-based software is a topic of increasing interest across the entire world.The real question for law firms is: what is needed to host Aderant in the cloud? What are the benefits? What are the risks? Should law firms consider moving all of their software and data to the cloud?

In this article, we’re going to explain what law firms need if they want to host Aderant in the cloud, the benefits of doing so, and provide some crucial information about whether law firms should make all of their software and data cloud-based.

Lets get started.

What Do You Need to Host Aderant in the Cloud?

If you want to host Aderant in the cloud, you must first answer an important question:

Do you want your law firm to be in the business of owning/managing servers, or not?

An on-premise server (IE:A server that your law firm buys, keeps in its office and pays a local IT firm to manage) is certainly an option. This may seem convenient because it gives you a sense of security because you can physically see and touch the server.

Physical servers also require someone who has the time (and expertise) to devote to managing it. Someone who can:

  • Keep the server patched and secure.
  • Monitor and audit (test) backups.
  • Upgrade the server as necessary.
  • Repair the server when necessary.

You’ll need someone who can do more than just deploy Aderant. They must also know how to keep all of the data safe as well as well as maintain the server.Also, if you’re looking for portability, you’d need an IT person who, as well as understanding SQL and .NET (the two databases Aderant operates from, understands the ins and outs of creating (and maintaining) a secure VPN or similar remote access tool that would allow you and key staff to log-in from locations outside of the law firm.

In addition, your chosen IT professional will also need to stay on top of the data security requirements for the legal industry. If you don’t already have a physical server (or if your current server is end-of-life, prompting you to consider buying the next one), think about the expense involved in buying one as well as paying someone whose main job will be to take care of it.

Then, think about the ongoing costs associated with maintaining data security and server reliability. For a small law office, the necessary funds could make it seem like hosting Aderant on a server just isn’t possible. Thankfully, that’s not true.

So, let’s talk about that other option.

Hosting Aderant in the Cloud

Regardless of the size of your law firm, you can host Aderant on a private cloud.

A private cloud is a platform that works a lot like a physical server.Law firms can install, deploy, and use software (including Aderant) to a platform designed for just this purpose. A good private cloud for software like Aderant should be designed with the legal industry in mind. And no, not all private clouds are created equal.

When you’re looking for a host for Aderant in the cloud, you’ll want to look at data security, the type of support you’ll receive, and how it will improve the uptime of your law firm.You might also even consider how the price of a private cloud server for Aderant compares with having full-time IT staff that would be necessary to take care of a physical server (as well as the cost you’d pay for a physical server).

Related: Private Cloud – a Primer for Law Firms

What Are the Benefits of Hosting Aderant in the Cloud?

Aside from the possibility of saving money when compared to the purchase and maintenance of a physical server, let’s talk about some of the amazing benefits law firms experience when they choose to host Aderant on a private cloud.

  • You don’t have to change anything. Have you met anyone in the legal industry who had a bad experience with a web-based law practice management option?Sure, they could use it anywhere, but it didn’t have the features they really wanted or needed. Then, they tried to move their data back to something that better suits their needs. Moving data around just isn’t as easy as it may sound. You get the same software you know, love, and trust…and you can use it anywhere.
  • You don’t lose the features you need. We’re going to use mobile view websites as an example (although those pages seem to be getting better, by and large). Have you ever used a web browser on your smart phone to visit a website and then you needed to choose “desktop view” so that you could access what you needed? Switching the view has its own problems, too. What about apps? Do you have an app you want to use or that you’d use more, but it doesn’t have all of the features as the actual software? It’s a giant pain. We all know it. We’ve all experienced it. With Aderant in the cloud, you won’t lose any of the features you rely on to run your practice. Whether you log-in from your hotel room while you’re on vacation or from your living room, your experience with Aderant is the same as it would be if you were in the office.
  • Top-of-the-line data and cyber security. One of the biggest concerns for law firms is the sensitive data they hold. With Aderant in the cloud, law firms get the best data and cyber security methods available without an increase in what they pay. No more time spent researching and employing the best possible methods. Hosting Aderant in the cloud gives you better security without the hassle.
  • Access Aderant from anywhere. More and more people work from home (or while on vacation). Hosting Aderant on a private cloud means that you can access it whenever you need to as long as you have an Internet connection.
  • More uptime than physical servers. When you host Aderant in a private cloud, you experience more uptime than with a physical server. There’s no waiting for an IT professional to respond if there’s a problem. The best private servers designed for the legal industry have a 99.9% uptime rating. And if a technical problem does happen?The private cloud company takes care of it.
  • Scale it to match your needs. One of the best benefits of using a private cloud is in your ability to scale the size to match your needs. Is your law firm poised to grow? Are you bringing on more software? No problem – a private cloud can grow with you.Do you need less cloud space? No problem – the size of the private cloud can be reduced.

Related: How to Move Aderant to the Cloud

Should You Move Your Entire Law Office to the Cloud?

It may seem like we’ve made a big leap here because we’ve gone from talking about Aderant in the cloud to now talking about whether you should move your entire law office. Believe it or not, though, it’s not as big of a leap as it may seem.

Related: 7 Reasons to Move Your Law Firm to a Private Cloud

While we can certainly understand (and even empathize with) the desire to start by using just one program your law firm needs from the cloud, this is known as piecemealing. Piecemealing often ends up being a problem because you’ll end up with a giant headache.

Why? Consider how you use Aderant and how it works in conjunction with your programs.Even if they don’t necessarily integrate, you may still need the program for certain information. A disjointed network of this nature means less communication and the likelihood of not having information when you actually need it. It also creates more responsibility for the data. Sure, your private cloud provider is certainly responsible for Aderant and its data, but not for data held on your physical server. You’d still need someone with the right IT experience for the data and software on the physical server.

Related: Piecemeal the Cloud at Your Own Risk

Moving your entire law office to a private cloud could make it much easier for you and your team to have proper and necessary access to data while also improving uptime.

Closing the Loop

Now that you know more about hosting Aderant in the cloud, its benefits, and why it’s important to not piecemeal your cloud usage, you’re invited to explore Uptime Practice. We’re a private cloud made specifically for law firm use. Uptime Practice was created with Aderant and other key law firm software choices in mind.

About the Author: Robin Bull
Robin Bull holds a BS in Paralegal Studies. She graduated from Kaplan University in 2008, Summa Cum Laude. Robin is the former Program Director of Paralegal Studies for Vatterott College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has more than 15 total years of experience in bankruptcy, family law, personal injury law, and real estate law. Robin is a full time legal writer, editor, and social media manager. She resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, Danny, three dogs, and one cat.

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