Staying Nimble and Secure in the Legal World
- Cloud services can help law firms meet client demands, keep information safe, and stay compliant
Law firms have increasingly migrated to cloud-based services to meet client demands for ease of use and affordability. Convenient access is the greatest reason law firms enter the cloud, followed by 24/7 access and affordability, according to the American Bar Association.
Law firms must be able to complete legal transactions without failure and protect their organizations against unpredictable threats such as power outages and ransomware, while still promoting collaboration, document control, and practice management. To do this, more law firms are transitioning to laaS, PaaS, and Saas.
Top five challenges facing law firms
1. Data analysis
Law firms use data either to prove a point in litigation or to identify problems before they become legal issues. Most of this information is now stored in electronic form, and sifting through it has become more complex.
2. Compliance with data privacy regulations
Privacy and data breach notification rules vary by state, and most states have several statutes that could apply to law firms. Violating any statute could leave law firms liable.
3. 24/7 availability
Because legal services are transactional by nature, IT availability is vital. Firms must also protect their organizations against unforeseen threats such as power outages, ransomware, and other malicious attacks.
4. Disaster recovery and business continuity protection
Firms in the legal sector need secure, reliable, and compliant disaster recovery and business-continuity protection.
5. Doing more with less
Technologies that allow for such features as remote conferencing and client portals can help lower costs all around.
Business requirements for law firms
• Contract management and e-signatures
Signing, saving, and managing contracts via an online purpose-built solution such as DocuSign is becoming increasingly common.
• Big data analysis tools
Lawyers can use data to better determine the likely outcomes of cases, develop winning legal strategies, estimate the value of a case, forecast litigation costs, and make crucial decisions, including whether to settle or proceed to trial.
Law firms collect a tremendous amount of data, and all this information needs to be stored securely and in compliance with data retention and data security mandates.
It's not only clients who demand confidentiality; state privacy and data breach notification rules also apply to law firms.
Lawyers are increasingly mobile and need to be able to access their information in real-time, on any device.
• Connectivity and reliability to ensure continuity
Critical applications must be available whenever and wherever they are needed.
Working with a cloud service provider eliminates worries about limited resources, buying and housing servers and hardware, updating software, and data protection. Using the cloud makes it easy to add and change services as needs fluctuate.
A cloud-services supplier provides servers and infrastructure, giving agencies a way to update their architecture without significant investment in equipment.
IT staff availability
Cloud computing frees IT resources for other tasks because the cloud service provider takes care of regular maintenance and updates, as well as security checks and procedures.
The cloud streamlines collaboration between legal firm staff and clients. Beyond just sharing documents, the cloud allows attorneys and staff to access documents from anywhere in the world.
Cloud provides virtually unlimited data storage capabilities, growing as the need for more storage grows.
Cloud services offer more effective management of software licenses through on-demand software (SaaS) and timely, centralized updates, performed by qualified software engineers.
Cloud services provide more consistent security compliance than standalone systems can realistically provide.
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) makes for a secure and compliant DR strategy. Data, applications, even entire data centers can be restored in minutes from the cloud.
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