In today’s world, technology is literally at our fingertips and has become the backbone of all business process and functionality. Long past are the days where a firm could run with a typewriter, some file cabinets, a copy machine, and maybe even a shared printer. Technology truly has transformed the landscape of business productivity and turned it into a virtually well-oiled machine, accessible 24/7/365, and constantly processing the business functions. Most of this is achieved by abandoning the old local technology and moving your data to the cloud. Making a plan to move to the cloud can be a nebulous thought, as there are so many technologies that can be utilized, and the market is becoming saturated with “cloud” providers. Naturally, some providers are more robust than others, and it can be overwhelming for the aspiring firm to make technology decisions like this with little intellectual knowledge of what would work best for their firm. With this in mind, here are some good pointers as to how to make a responsible and educated decision on moving your firm’s technology to cloud services:
How does your firm operate?
Many firms are migrating their software to the cloud for a number of reasons. Some firms want to eliminate purchasing expensive hardware servers and the maintenance that comes with the new hardware. Some firms, such as Personal Injury firms, need to be HIPAA compliant and find it’s less expensive and less of a headache to move to the cloud. Some firms migrate to the cloud to experience greater accessibility and collaboration between multiple office, home office, and courtrooms. The cloud allows safe access to data, files, and software from anywhere.
Fully vet and evaluate a cloud provider
You will absolutely get what you pay for. Get a few different quotes and evaluate them thoroughly. Most of our clients have used other cloud providers and eventually came to Legal Workspace when their needs were not being met by other providers. Based on our clients’ feedback, we’ve compiled an article on vetting cloud providers here. Long story short, Law firms need top-notch support, state-of-the-art security, and ABA compliant cloud vendors.
Evaluate users and permissions, does everyone really need access to your General Partnership Documents?
Not everyone at your firms needs access to all data. Does your paralegal need access to practice management software? In the cloud, you can custom tailor your solution to grant access to what each employee needs access to, giving all the benefits of a cloud-based system, with the level of security of an enterprise organization. It takes the guesswork out of who can access your confidential data, and allows you to quickly grant and deny access to your team members.
Reconcile Data – Time to check in on compliance and housekeeping.
Once you’ve decided on a cloud provider, it’s time to Marie Kondo your data. Most state bars require law firms to keep data for a certain number of years but there could be data lurking that can be safely deleted. We see a lot of duplicate files and moving to the cloud is a great opportunity to consolidate and clean up data.
Sending Data to the Cloud Provider- Make sure this is encrypted.
There are a few different ways to send your law firms’ data to your cloud provider. Your cloud provider may remote into your network and export data directly to the cloud. Your cloud provider may use a physical hard drive to transfer data from your firm to their cloud.
Run Parallel Systems (and test the concept)
Once your legal cloud provider has your law firm’s data, they will run two networks simultaneously – your old network and your new cloud. As you’re working, the cloud vendor will see if any data was added to your old network after the transfer and ensure all of your connections are working properly. Most modern-day legal software programs sync well with each other and the connections you had previously, say from Worldox to TimeMatters(pls change if this is wrong, looking for well-known apps that sync), will transfer to the cloud.
If you have any questions about migrating your firm to Legal Workspace, please give us a call at 877-713-8302 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.