Every month hundreds of law firms move their practices to the cloud. These firms are looking to benefit from the many advantages the cloud brings, including the ability to work from anywhere, the increased security and reliability, and perhaps most importantly–to avoid the business of owning and managing IT infrastructure.
That said, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to move your law firm to the cloud.
The Wrong Way:
A Piecemeal Cloud System
This happens all of the time…A law firm moves one component of their practice to the cloud: for example the practice management software. Then, they say to themselves: “Wow, the cloud is great! We should do the same for our other systems.” Next, the firm decides to move its email to a Microsoft Exchange provider. And, later the firm’s documents/storage goes to yet another cloud provider. Meanwhile, a separate local IT company continues to provide endpoint support for the firm’s local network, computers, scanners, and printers.
Before you know it, the law firm’s applications and data are spread across three or four different providers, creating a disjointed mess with no central accountability. This is a piecemeal cloud system. With it, your firm will be sentenced to:
- Multiple web applications and/or web sites for access
- Multiple logins/passwords to remember
- Multiple help desks to call when there’s a problem
- Multiple invoices to pay
- Little or no integration between systems
- No central accountability for the firm’s technology
- No trusted technology partner to turn to for advice
It’s a huge, disjointed mess!
The Right Way:
An All-Inclusive Private Cloud
So what’s the right way to move your law firm to the cloud? A single, integrated, all-inclusive cloud platform. Your Private Cloud.
The right Private Cloud solution will host and support every aspect of your firm’s technology on a single, unified platform, including:
- Your legal software applications:
- Practice Management software
- Billing and Accounting software
- Document Management software
- Your documents, files and folders
- Your email
- Support and protect your desktops, laptops and mobile devices
- Help desk support for your team’s day-to-day needs
The Private Cloud provider will host, manage, and support all of these components, and serve as the single point of contact and accountability for the entirety of your firm’s IT. The right Private Cloud service will include the latest version of Microsoft Office, Exchange Email, and Microsoft SQL for your practice management applications.
The Uptime Verdict
If your firm uses any of the leading premise-based legal applications–such as PCLaw, Time Matters, ProLaw, Tabs3, Worldox, iManage–consider moving your law firm to a Private Cloud. And most importantly, avoid moving only bits and pieces of your practice to the cloud: the benefits of cloud computing will be considerably offset by the disadvantages of a disjointed system.
Your firm depends on it.
Related: Piecemeal the Cloud at Your Own Risk.