Like every other profession, lawyers are unable to avoid the progress of the digital world. More of their documents and data are held in digital format and need storing securely, while changes in working practices mean there is a greater need for online document access to enable remote working, collaboration and communication. For those firms looking for a solution of where best to store and manage digital files, the preponderance of evidence points convincingly at cloud storage. Here are six reasons why.
All the space you need
Just like paper documents, digital ones take up a lot of space and often need to be kept for a very long time. If your firm keeps these stored on an internal system at your offices, then over time you will need to keep upgrading your hardware to accommodate them all. Buying adequate storage is an expensive process and transferring files from one device to another isn’t without risk.
The advantage of cloud storage is that it is simple and easy to expand your storage capacity to meet your growing needs, without having to go to the expense of purchasing a large server.
Ease of access
When your data and documents are stored in the cloud, they are centralised. This means all the firm’s files are stored in the same place rather than on separate devices. This makes it easier to manage them, search for and find them and ensure that everyone has access to the most up to date versions.
Of course, being stored in the cloud means the files can be accessed online, enabling remote working and file sharing from anywhere with a connection at any time.
Legal firms have a greater need than most organisations to keep their files and documents secure. Cloud storage offers a number of crucial benefits here. Firstly, centralising data reduces the risk of data loss and data theft when information is stored on the hard drives of multiple machines or on portable storage devices. What’s more, when everything is kept in a single repository, access management tools can be used to ensure that only those with authorisation can access specific files. Access privileges can be assigned on an individual basis so that everyone in the company is given the right access to the documents they need.
Additionally, there is the security provided by the cloud vendor who will deploy a suite of security tools and employ expert teams to keep your data protected. These will include the latest firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion prevention tools and encryption. Being cloud-based, you are also protected against data loss through hardware failure. Unlike with an office server, if there is a hardware issue in a cloud datacentre, your virtual storage server is simply transferred to another physical machine and will always be accessible.
Storing documents and files in the office can be expensive. Aside from purchasing a server, there’s the additional costs of keeping it operational: power and cooling, maintenance, insurance, physical security and IT expertise. In the cloud, all these overheads and tasks are included in the price of the package. Not only will it work out less expensive; you won’t need to devote as much time and effort to keep your system working.
Improve client services
With cloud-based documents being accessible online, legal firms can improve their clients’ customer experience. You can put downloadable forms and documents on your website, give clients secure access to their files and provide information sheets for those needing guidance when the office is closed. Any files sent or received can easily be shared with relevant team members and any changes are instantly synced.
Cyberattack, data theft and data loss can have catastrophic consequences for legal firms and their clients. Aside from storing your files and documents in the cloud, you can also use it to back up all your information, including your website and software. With a cloud-based backup solution in place, you can restore all your data quickly to recover from disaster – whether that’s from hardware failure, ransomware or anything else.
The advantage of cloud backups is that they are automated and can be scheduled to take place at the times and frequencies you need them. What’s more, they are encrypted for security and checked for integrity to ensure they aren’t corrupted and will work if you need them.
With digital files and documents becoming increasingly important in the legal profession, having a secure, easily accessible place to store and manage them is vital. We hope that the case presented here proves the value of cloud storage beyond all reasonable doubt. However, if you require further evidence of how a cloud storage solution can benefit your firm, feel free to cross-examine our Cloud Hosting and Backup Solutions pages. As for the quality of our services, you’ll find plenty of 5-star witness statements in our online reviews.