It’s probably not stretching the truth (or being insulting either, for that matter) to say that when it comes to integrating the use of technological advances, law firms haven’t always been on the cutting edge. The legal profession prides itself on tradition, on process, on precedent, on doing things by-the-book. The phrase is, after all, law and order.
As with most businesses, law firms are keenly interested in maintaining the confidentiality of proprietary information. For legal practitioners, that information is subject to attorney-client privilege. And as any lawyer knows, privileged information improperly or mistakenly disclosed can result in damage to the case and/or to the client, and it can also potentially lead to disciplinary action against the attorney or law firm. In short, unauthorized disclosure can be catastrophic.
No surprise, then, that the hesitation in the legal profession to cloud computing and/or cloud-based communications is in large part due to continuing skepticism that it just isn’t possible to adequately secure information shared or stored in the cloud. Fortunately, that’s not true in either case.
So, does it really make sense to move your firm computing and communications to the cloud? We think so. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to make our case without some evidence:
- Time is of the essence. Cloud computing offers real-time access to data storage, file-sharing, and collaboration tools such as video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
- Full, fair, plain disclosure. Third-party service providers offer hosted Unified communications (UC) systems that provide applications, hardware, switches and storage, accessible on demand by your authorized users.
- No need for change of venue. Location? Irrelevant! Cloud-based systems are available anytime, anywhere there is Internet access, whether it be across town or across the ocean.
- It enables a “legal team” to actually be a team. With auto attendants, extensions, voicemail, call routing, call-forwarding, on-hold messages tele- and video conferencing, cloud communications all but eliminate time-wasting and facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. Organization is key, and cloud computing is all about organization.
- Privilege. It’s well-settled that you can’t afford any security breach. Just. Cannot. A competent communications service provider will offer real-time monitoring and protection against hackers, malware, network intrusions, accidental data release and use by those unauthorized for access.
These are just some of the reasons why you may want to give serious consideration to moving your firm’s computing/communications to the cloud. Is the evidence compelling? You be the judge.