Law Firms Move To Cloud Based Servers
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As the world continues to embrace remote work, law firms are faced with the need to have their employees connect virtually. They also need to have a method to continue meeting the needs of their clients while at the same time dealing with a whole new set of legal issues tied to the pandemic. While most law firms feel strained, others are increasingly becoming better equipped for the current virtual reality.
Statistics show that:
- Approximately 74% of law firms have at least some parts of their business application on the cloud. Only about 12% are entirely cloud-based. This report is according to a 2019 survey by the Business of Law and Legal Technology.
- 78% of law firms have currently embraced the approach of storing client data in the cloud. Another 8% of the survey participants plan to do so soon.
- 31% of lawyers believe that cloud services enhance data security, hence are becoming more familiar with cloud technologies.
It’s clear that with the advancement of cloud technology, many law firms have realized that traditional Information Technology does not provide as good security as the cloud does. Cloud-based storage solutions can help firms avoid data breaches, phishing, and other security concerns that interrupt day-to-day business operations. The cloud also provides user-friendly interfaces, making them more prominent in the legal software market.
As such, cloud software for the legal industry is critical for business continuity. As medium-sized firms continue to compete for the same clients, they can achieve a competitive edge by leveraging cloud-based processes and technology.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, also known as the “the cloud,” is the practice of using remote servers hosted on the internet to manage, process, and store data instead of using local in-house servers or personal computers. The platform provides a model for supporting convenient, universal, on-demand internet access to an interconnection of various computing resources. These include servers, networks, applications, storage, and services that users can rapidly configure with minimal management effort.
Cloud storage uses a highly virtualized and multi-user infrastructure that provides enterprises with scalable storage resources. Currently, the market is awash with a variety of cloud service providers. Law firms can dynamically provision them through data migration to meet their unique business needs.
What Is Data Migration?
Data migration refers to removing data from one location and transferring it to a different location. The process could entail moving client or law firm data from a physical server to a cloud server for law firms. In other cases, the transfer is usually to a law practice management system.
Data migration is in four types, mainly:
- Database migration: an entire database is moved from one vendor to another. It may also entail upgrading the current software on which the database is stored.
- Storage migration: transferring physical data from one hardware to another.
- Business process migration: involves a merger or acquisition between two or more law firms. The data they share between them must be integrated.
- Application migration: entails a firm switching from one application vendor to another. This type of transfer calls for a lot of care, as most applications need specific databases or data set up.
Successful data migration calls for careful planning and execution for law firms. Understanding how the process works is crucial for law firms, as it helps alleviate the fear of moving to a new platform. For successful data migration to the cloud, it’s vital to take some steps to ensure data integrity during and after the process:
- Ensure you know the data that needs to be moved: this is crucial as moving one set of data from one platform to another could impact one or more programs.
- Quality data is critical for successful data migration: duplicate and incorrect data can cause data integrity issues during data migration.
- Conduct a data test before deploying data migration: conducting tests before the actual migration helps you identify any potential issues that may arise before actual data migration.
- Set a schedule for the data migration process: it helps to consider how the migration will affect everyone and take the necessary steps to reduce the impact of the interruption during the migration. Ensure you also define deadlines when you want the process to be complete.
Reasons Why Most Law Firms Are Moving to the Cloud
Moving to the cloud provides law firms with many benefits that they should not ignore. They range from reducing business operational costs to enhancing the efficacy of accessing files and data from anywhere and anytime.
- Most clients rely on the cloud for legal services: Initially, clients were the most significant barrier for law firms in adopting the cloud. Today, most of them work in places where their employers host data and business applications in the cloud.
- Clients are looking for improved collaboration with their law firms: they always want transparency and collaboration, and cloud-based solutions have conveniently made this possible.
- Many firms are already using the cloud: lawyers now prefer the cloud platform for document management and email hosting. These two systems will be the most significant enablers of the coming mass migration to the cloud. Firms that want to remain competitive will also have to move to the cloud platform.
- The cloud is effectively competing with on-premises features and functions: traditionally, on-premises software provided more robust features and functions, but the landscape is steadily changing. Cloud-based solutions come with features that allow firms to personalize, configure, and customize the software to their liking, just like they did with on-premises software.
Embracing cloud system technology also means law firms can boost staff morale by introducing a flexible working environment. Additionally, cloud-based systems have few downtime incidents, a factor that is crucial in enhancing business continuity. However, it’s vital to conduct due diligence on any cloud-based solution for the sake of security issues.
Are you ready to migrate your law firm from on-premises servers to the cloud for better functionality? We understand that the process may be too technical for your firm to handle on its own, and it calls for the help of an expert. That is why Parkway Tech is here to help. Contact us today to book your initial consultation and find out how we can help your business.
Written by Chris Michalec posted on August 10, 2021
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