4 Reasons Why Cloud Services and Law Firms Belong Together
Cloud environments provide a lot of advantages
no matter what industry is served. But, law firms especially benefit from
specific features and services that cloud hosting can supply. These four big
reasons make it clear that law firms and cloud services belong together:
What would happen if your email host
experienced an outage? How much would that affect your ability to work with
clients? Beyond that, do you know for sure that your email encryption is strong
The cloud eliminates both of those worries in
one fell swoop: It makes email hosting reliable and secure. Attorneys and other
employees will be able to access email anytime away from the office, and it is
as safe and as dependable as it would be if they were sitting at their desks in
the middle of the business day.
Cloud hosting also means that your firm is not
storing files on any device, which is a key provision to the Health Care
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In fact, if your law firm services
clients that need HIPAA compliance, a cloud environment like Legal Workspace
can make that ordinarily cumbersome process easy.
Finally, you have no need to worry about
losing email data. Even if a natural disaster or a theft occurs at your law
firm’s physical space, your information is safe.
and virtual servers
All of the advantages of email hosting in the
cloud apply to file storage in the cloud. Nothing is hosted on your law firm’s
devices, so compliance with regulatory oversight is a snap. The storage is
reliable and secure.
Cloud providers use virtual servers. That
means law firm management can stop thinking about server maintenance, worrying
about technology upgrades, and stressing over potential down time. When you
take advantage of cloud services, you will always be using the latest and
It also means attorneys and employees have
access to the same files, software, and other data any time and anywhere. They
may be in court or mediation. They may be traveling or working odd hours. With
a cloud environment like Legal Workspace, attorneys can have the exact same
work experience in court that they would in their own offices, for example. It
saves time, increases productivity, and makes work more convenient.
You can’t predict the future. And, no matter
how well you prepare or work to mitigate risk, it is still possible that your
workspace will be struck by natural disaster or burglary. Maybe you’ve thought
of that and are already doing regular data back-ups…or maybe you’ve let that
fall by the wayside.
When you use a cloud environment, back-ups
happen automatically. Instead of natural disaster or theft causing business
interruption, you have zero downtime. Legal Workspace keeps two weeks’ worth of
back-ups, and they store data in two geographically diverse locations – so even
if something happens that affects one of those facilities, the other has you
routine office tasks
You can think of the cloud as your all-around
IT solution because most cloud services ensure that your office technology is
working, too. That means phones, networks, printers, and scanners stay up and
running, and if something goes south, you know who to call.
Law firms that use a cloud environment can
concentrate on what they do best: practicing law. When you make the decision to
go with the cloud, email services, file storage, security, reliable back-ups,
and a simplified office routine are all yours.
You already know the benefits of using a cloud-based work environment for your law firm. Increased flexibility, security, and functionality: All of that can be accomplished by switching to the cloud.
Legal Workspace, which supplies cloud-based work environments specifically for law firms, now provides two pricing packages to better serve clients’ needs. How do you know which one is right for you, in order to create your ideal law firm in the cloud?
Both packages provide the great hosting, service, and security you’ve come to expect from Legal Workspace. In both the Gold Package and the Platinum Package, you will get:
Legal Software Hosting
This includes virtual law firm cloud servers dedicated to your firm, along with the virtual workspace that allows attorneys and staff to access their desktops anytime, anywhere, with any device. Microsoft Office and Exchange email are included, as well as storage for your legal applications and software, files, and data.
If you’re not already working with Legal Workspace, you’ll get a custom cloud environment specifically tailored to your firm. Before it launches, Legal Workspace performs parallel testing to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. The whole transition can be a hands-off experience for you.
Dedicated Expert Support
If you’re worried about running into snags, you can let that go. Legal Workspace provides unlimited environment support including updates and maintenance. It guarantees 99.99% uptime.
Security and Compliance
Do you have a client with specific security needs, such as HIPAA? Legal Workspace is the leading cloud provider for security-focused law firms and its law firm cloud storage is unparalleled. With AmLaw 100 grade security, customizable data encryption options, two-factor authentication, state-of-the-art antispam and antivirus, and more, a law firm in the cloud can mean more security than your firm would ever have been able to cobble together onsite and on its own.
The additional benefit of the Platinum Package
The Platinum Package gives law firms added peace of mind in the form of additional dedicated expert support. Beyond the environment support, those law firms that opt for the Platinum Package also receive:
• local computer support • software and application support • local network equipment and internet support • support for printers and scanners
If you have an onsite IT person or already work with an IT provider that can take care of those issues for you as they come up, you can simply select the Gold Package. Legal Workspace will take care of your law firm’s cloud support, and your IT person can take care of the rest.
But, if you’re looking to make a change or you need that extra focused attention, Legal Workspace can provide it to you with the Platinum Package, which supplies unlimited cloud support as well as support for your local work stations.
A law firm in the cloud increases productivity, flexibility, and security, all while reducing costs. The choice is yours: Select the Gold or the Platinum Package to benefit from the services your law firm needs.
By now, you’ve heard all about the cloud, how it can keep your data secure, and how using a cloud environment is a more convenient way to work. You’re convinced that working in a cloud environment is the way to go. What’s the next step? How do you get the cloud and make it work for you? Will any cloud do?
As with any other technology, you must be selective. Choose the cloud environment that provides security and support.
Legal Workspace goes way beyond providing just cloud storage for lawyers. Its cloud environment was designed with the particular needs of the legal profession at its forefront. Because of that, Legal Workspace’s cloud environment – and its set-up and support team – provide special features that make it the best choice.
A dedicated team
When you work with Legal Workspace, you aren’t just buying space and an interface. You get to work with a dedicated team that is there to help you with your technology needs. This team is made up of people with legal industry experience.
That legal industry experience allows the team to immediately comprehend and meet your firm’s needs. The team takes an unbiased approach to hosting, and they understand a law firm’s daily workflow in addition to all of the facets of technology. For example, they can help you customize programs and applications for greater efficiency. Beyond that, if you ever need advice as you make technology decisions, the team can contribute CIO-level guidance.
And, certain aspects of tech maintenance become invisible. Just think: You will never need to worry about updating software again – because it will happen automatically.
A secure environment
You have your dedicated technology team to set up and maintain your own distinct cloud environment when you work with Legal Workspace. But that’s not all your team can do for you. You can consult with your team about security, too. Because Legal Workspace is designed specifically for use by those in the legal profession, it has developed and locked in place a multi-layer defense system to protect your – and your clients’ – data from exposure.
Legal Workspace uses two-factor authentication, advanced intrusion detection and prevention systems, state-of-the-art antivirus software, and anti-spam solutions as tools in its mission to keep your data safe. The security teams at Legal Workspace are always working to keep your data secure with proactive monitoring, redundancy, and airtight training and policies.
A compliant mindset
Legal Workspace takes security and compliance seriously. It knows how important compliance is to you and to your clients. That’s why on-staff security and compliance experts are easy to reach and at the ready to help you make compliance decisions and meet the demands of standards required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
And, data storage isn’t a mystery with Legal Workspace. Your data is stored in the United States – in Dallas, TX, and Denver, CO – and it will never leave those locations.
When you work with a cloud solution that understands the challenges the legal profession faces, you have the opportunity to take advantage of its expertise. You can work in a cloud environment designed especially for law firms, and you can work with teams with legal industry experience and technology expertise. That makes it so much easier to set up a cloud environment that does what you need it to do.
Who Wants Budget Stability? A New Year, Better Predictability
The year’s end is a time for reflection and projection. You look back at what happened over the past year, and you think about what the future holds. Some of this process is subjective, and some of it is speculation – but some of it is hard numbers.
Take your law firm’s budget, for example.
How was your IT spending in 2017? Did you stay within the parameters, or did you experience any major technological fall-out that caused you to dip into another line item?
What about next year? How’s your server holding up? Will this be the year be the one that results in multiple repair bills or the cost of a replacement server (and the associated migration costs)?
Good news: There is a way that you can stabilize your law firm’s IT budget for 2018. Migrate to a cloud environment, such as Legal Workspace, and you will experience predictable monthly costs instead of highly variable IT repair and maintenance bills.
Consistent bills, consistent budget
Because a cloud environment like Legal Workspace is constantly upgrading its software, servers, and security, those costs to your law firm – and that worry – can just disappear.
The responsibility is on Legal Workspace’s shoulders, not yours. No longer will you have to pay for upgrades. You won’t have to stretch a dying server’s viability until its last gasp. Instead, your data will be stored on up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment.
You’ll simply pay for a predictable, unchanging monthly bill. Now that’s easy to budget.
Quicker client payments
Not only will you be able to stabilize your law firm’s IT budget, but you can utilize Legal Workspace’s tools to get paid faster, too.
Administrators can spend hours reviewing invoices. They might allocate a significant portion of their day to sharing invoicing information with attorneys – and attorneys might be wasting their time on clunky timekeeping and pre-billing. The Legal Workspace team can work with law firms to determine the best technology and processes for streamlining billing.
Working with Legal Workspace on this issue results in faster payment. As Diane Kuhre, firm finance manager for Davis Schilken, PC, puts it, “Since I can complete monthly billing in half the time, invoices get out the door in two days. The firm gets paid much more quickly now.”
Other headaches can fall by the wayside, too, when you start to use a cloud environment. Constantly adjusting to hackers’ increasingly adept and creative ways to penetrate law firms’ shields is a major annoyance – and it takes significant expertise (not to mention serious dollars) to protect your firm’s data adequately.
That’s one of the many reasons so many law firms now take advantage of a cloud environment for data storage. Law firms no longer need to worry about security updates or maintaining back-ups; it is all taken care of for you.l
Adopting the use of a cloud environment like Legal Workspace results in many benefits – not least a healthier bottom line. Just one simple decision can stabilize your IT budget, take away headaches about security and back-ups, and get your law firm paid more quickly.
There are so many reasons for law firms to use the cloud, ranging from increased convenience to more robust security. Here are five unexpected benefits of cloud services for law firms:
1. Bump up holiday and summer billable hours
It’s summer time, and the living is easy—right? All of your clients are settled on a beach somewhere, and all of your attorneys are kicking back with their feet on their desks. Maybe in a parallel universe! In this world, hours need to be kept up during the summer and holidays. With Legal Workspace, remote computing for law firms allows just that: Attorneys can access data and the programs and applications they need whenever and wherever they need them.
2. Eliminate network downtime
Network downtime can be a scourge. It sidelines productivity, it causes headaches, and it costs money. When you transition to using a cloud environment, any fears you had about experiencing network outages and failures can disappear. Legal Workspace, for example, has redundancies in place to ensure that its servers are consistently up and available for customers using its cloud environment. No interruptions. No glitches. No downtime.
3. Automate data back-ups
Stuff happens. One attorney might inadvertently leave her laptop on a plane, another might find his smartphone went missing somewhere between the office and the commute home. And it’s not only lost or stolen devices that could cause problems: Security breaches also pose data loss risks to law firms reviewing and storing sensitive, privileged materials. Most people know that data back-ups are paramount to guard against data loss. Unfortunately, not many law firms perform regular back-ups as they should. When law firms use the cloud, data gets backed up routinely, thus eliminating worries about data loss.
4. Easy onboarding
Onboarding new employees can be a hassle. You may be introducing multiple unfamiliar applications, programs, and procedures to any new attorney or staff member. Working in a cloud environment such as Legal Workspace can ease that pain because the platform is standard across devices; there’s no need to re-invent the wheel every time someone logs in from a different device or location. Legal Workspace also provides an environment that’s intuitive to use, which reduces trial-and-error interactions while reducing law firm overhead expenses.
5. HIPAA compliance
Law firms and attorneys that work with Private Health Information (PHI) have an additional responsibility: complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Some cloud environments, such as Legal Workspace’s HIPAA Compliant Edition, offer enterprise-grade safeguards for data storage, which meet HIPAA compliance obligations. This type of solution removes the need for large law firms’ IT departments to cobble together a system for additional data protection. It also allows smaller law firms access to security that would otherwise be impossible for them to create and maintain.
When a law firm begins using a cloud environment like Legal Workspace, it instantly benefits from increased convenience, consistency, and security. The cloud can be an immediate painkiller for a lot of common law firm headaches.
Workflow on your Workspace: Become More Productive and Efficient
Are you using your software to its full potential?
Many law firms own legal software applications to assist them with case management, time and billing, and accounting. The question is: Are you using your software to its full potential?
Most law firms use only a portion of their software’s features and integrations without realizing and maximizing the software’s full capacity. The application support specialists at Legal Workspace estimate that most firms only use about 40 percent of the functionality of workflow automation or case management software.
Law firms are particularly poised to take advantage of workflow automation because many of their processes are methodical and follow a set procedure. Developing repeating workflows not only increases efficiency, but also ensures accuracy.
To figure out what can be automated, firms should define their repetitive workflows and problem areas.
Here are five guidelines to help you understand how automation can work for you:
1. Standardize and implement. Different practice areas have different processes that are methodical or repetitive. Determine which processes fall into that category, identify common issues, then streamline them to make procedures standard.
Here’s an example: Most firms repeat the same process every time they take on a new client. The firm will go through an approval process, run a conflict check, and finally proceed with the client intake process. Those steps can be standardized to prevent bottlenecks and keep the process on track.
2. Checklists. Practice areas typically have sets of milestones or tasks that need to be accomplished. Two good examples of events that benefit from using a checklist are 1) when a new case is entered into the system and 2) when a case is closed.
In both scenarios, there are many small to-dos that need to be completed in a certain order. At the beginning of the relationship, firms need to set up the file and the billing, assign staff to the case, send a thank-you letter to the client, and countless other administrative tasks. When the case has closed, there’s a similar laundry list of items to do, such as finalizing billing, document storage, and more.
Rather than having an individual keep track of all the small tasks—or hoping that everyone remembers their responsibilities and performs them in the correct order—a checklist makes certain that every task gets accomplished and that nothing happens twice.
3. Document generation and file-sharing. The application support specialists at Legal Workspace have seen data privacy issues arise out of human error when people recycle electronic documents, using them repeatedly for the same purpose. Let’s say an attorney pulls up Jane Smith’s document because he needs to create the same type of document for John Jones. He searches for all of Jane’s information and thinks he replaces it with John’s new information in the document—but he gets interrupted mid-stream and forgets to replace Jane’s social security number. Not only is this scenario inefficient, compromises sensitive data.
Increase accuracy, efficiency, and security when you standardize document templates in your firm based on practice area. Use case management or practice management apps, such as Amicus Attorney®, Practice Master ®, or Time Matters ®, to pull data and autofill the documents accurately. Then, share your files with the appropriate parties using a secure platform in the cloud, such as Legal Workspace.
4. Calendar templates. This workflow feature helps attorneys track standard tasks and deadlines that need to happen on a case. For example, a personal injury attorney might construct a statute of limitations calendar template, which includes the deadline and reminders going backwards six months, 90 days, the month, and the week before the deadline hits.
Automating reminders allows attorneys to worry about the finer points of their cases, rather than the administrative details.
5. Triggers. Often in a law firm, one action leads to another action. A more advanced feature in some practice management systems allow users to set up “triggers,” which simply means that once you indicate within the system that a certain event has occurred, another action that relates to the case automatically pops up. For example, if a status of a case changes, a trigger would prompt users to take the next logical step.
Taking advantage of the features that likely already exist as part of your case management or practice management software is a simple way to increase efficiency, accuracy, and security. If you need assistance determining what you can do and how to do it, Legal Workspace’s application support specialists can help you fine tune your automation so firms can maximize their billable hours. Reach out now.
In-House or in the Cloud: Choosing the Right IT for Your Law Firm
This article was written by Joe Kelly, CEO of Legal Workspace, and published in Colorado Lawyer.
Whether attorneys are hanging their shingles or working at large firms, information technology (IT) is probably not their highest priority. Most lawyers would rather focus on practicing law than worrying about technology. Nevertheless, IT plays a vital role in the business of law today.
Complicating matters is the growing necessity for practices to support mobile devices and a virtual workforce. At the same time, firms must also ensure security and compliance with professional obligations and regulations, such as the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). When transitioning to new IT systems, attorneys and staff often want to continue using their favorite software programs, which may come from different providers and may not be legal-specific.
Those at larger law firms can usually let the IT department worry about such logistics. However, attorneys at small or mid-sized firms do not have the luxury of a large IT staff—if they have any IT staff at all. Consequently, lawyers are left to figure these things out, even if the sheer number of issues to consider when setting up or reimagining IT seems overwhelming.
It is helpful for small to mid-sized firms to think in terms of three main options when it comes to IT:
1) keeping IT onsite;
2) adopting a hybrid mix that involves some cloud-based solutions with some onsite hardware and software; or
3) being fully cloud-based.
When considering which approach to take, lawyers should evaluate its cost, security, and convenience, as well as the amount of time it will take away from their practice to manage each option. Although three options are listed in this article, not all options are an exact fit for every law firm.
The Onsite Approach
The onsite approach is the most traditional IT route, simply because technology has not allowed for many other options until the past decade or so. With this approach, firms set up and maintain all of their IT infrastructures at the law firm.
Cost of Onsite IT
Conventional wisdom holds that medium and large law firms will benefit the most from onsite IT. Solo attorneys and small law firms can often function in a peer-to-peer based environment without a server. However, many of today’s leading legal applications use SQL Server as their backend database. An attorney who selects one of these legal applications will need to purchase and install a server for the application to function.
Setting up onsite IT is an involved process that can easily cost thousands of dollars a year for each staff member. The firm will need to (1) purchase and configure servers for data applications, backup, and security; (2) purchase and configure software programs (e.g., a Windows server, the email server, practice management applications, and time and billing systems); and (3) purchase and set up hardware, including computers, laptops, mobile devices, and Bluetooth devices.
Unless lawyers are intimately acquainted with IT and have the time to devote to it, law firms will find the need to hire IT consultants to help with initial setup and configuration. The initial labor costs can easily reach $1,000 per staff member. Additional consultant costs may arise for ongoing maintenance, unless someone at the firm can dedicate significant time to maintaining and troubleshooting hardware and software issues. As the firm grows and adds more personnel, someone at the firm will need to oversee licensing additional software, buying more hardware, setting up additional email accounts, and ensuring compliance standards are met.
Security of Onsite IT
Many lawyers assume that high security is inherently linked to the onsite approach because the law firm maintains complete control over the files and systems, including how they are stored and shared. However, when software is housed within the firm, it must be updated continuously to make sure that systems are as secure as possible. This means that someone must be available to run patches, checkups, antivirus software, and other tools to ensure that systems are not vulnerable to malware and hacking.
With an onsite approach, the firm must also consider backup plans and disaster recovery solutions. Backup plans should take into account how to host the backup at another site in the event of a natural disaster, fire, gas leak, or other circumstance that makes the firm’s office inaccessible.
Firms also need to consider where they are most vulnerable. According to the IT security firm Trend Micro, hacking and malware account for 25% of all data breaches, while lost devices account for 41% of data breaches. That means that firms need to consider how they can remotely wipe any devices that lawyers and staff have lost or misplaced.
Trend Micro further warns that data breaches caused by hacking and malware tend to be highly sophisticated and deliberate: “Highly customized defense solutions and strategies are required in these cases.” Firms need to decide whether to install consumer firewalls or enterprise firewalls. Enterprise firewalls may be more thorough than consumer firewalls, but they can also be more expensive and complicated to operate. And unless the firm is large enough to warrant a dedicated IT staff member, the firm will need to pay for special training on a regular basis.
Finally, if any of the firm’s clients and their information calls for HIPAA compliance, the firm will need to add additional layers of security. Complying with HIPAA comes with very specific and often costly requirements around physical, technical, and administrative safeguards. Failing to comply with these safeguards can lead to penalties in excess of $1 million per year.
Convenience of Onsite IT
An onsite server is highly convenient because all hardware and software is located just down the hall. As a result, it’s easy for staff and attorneys to check on anything that goes wrong.
However, unless someone at the firm is an IT expert, it will be difficult to fix most problems that arise. That means that the firm will have to bring in an IT consultant to handle serious issues. Along with the added expense, someone at the firm will need to take time away from legal projects to work with the IT consultant. The firm will also lose billable time and productivity while hardware and software problems are being addressed.
A Hybrid Approach
A hybrid approach encompasses onsite IT functionalities and the advantages of specific cloud-based software to support practice management, billing, and other areas.
Cost of Hybrid IT
This approach can be more cost-effective than an onsite system, since cloud-based software and applications normally run on a subscription model based on the number of users (e.g., software licenses for each user) or the amount of storage needed. The manufacturer normally handles all upgrades and patches automatically. This option and the subscription model are often more affordable than buying software licenses.
When considering which programs to host onsite and which to base in the cloud, the firm should consider its current software and processes. The ratio of cloud to onsite applications will affect costs. Firms will also need to spend more time and money managing multiple vendors when some programs are cloud-based and others are managed within the firm.
Because the main goal of leveraging technology at a law firm is to increase efficiency, progress usually involves connecting and automating different parts of a firm’s work flow. This becomes very difficult in a hybrid model. For example, a firm may use a cloud version of a non-legal-specific bookkeeping system and want to link it with the accounts receivable from a time and billing system. Some systems on the market cannot support this approach.
Security of Hybrid IT
The security of hybrid systems depends on the types of cloud-based applications and software that the firm is using. Many cloud-based apps and software offer built-in security contingencies, such as automatically installing the latest updates to address vulnerabilities and potential viruses.
However, attorneys need to be aware that common cloud-based apps or software, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, often have data storage facilities around the world, which might prompt data ownership questions. If the firm’s data resides overseas, it raises the question of who actually owns it. Therefore, when considering cloud providers for any type of information storage, attorneys have a responsibility to find out where their data will be stored. They need to feel confident that their data cannot be lost or stolen and understand who physically owns it.
Reliability and security are also major concerns with mainstream cloud-based services. Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the world’s largest cloud providers, has been known to stop working on occasion. In September of 2015 roughly one-third of AWS services were down for an excess of five hours. Since the services can support a variety of items such as backup and recovery, websites and business applications, an interruption can impact a law firm’s ability to access critical client files or billing information.
Convenience of Hybrid IT
Most cloud-based software and applications enable mobility, allowing staff and attorneys to access information from anywhere at any time. A hybrid approach is also easier to scale up with solutions that grow as the firm grows and adds more staff.
The Cloud-Based Approach
With this method, all IT needs are handed off to a cloud-based third party. This third party sets up, configures, launches, and maintains hardware and software, allowing the firm to forego servers and backup devices.
Cloud-based solutions normally use one of three ways to configure a law firm’s IT:
1) managed cloud computing platform;
2) desktop as a service; or
3) private cloud computing.
The first approach, managed cloud computing, enables firms and other organizations to share databases, hardware, and software remotely through the provider. With managed cloud computing, law firms can purchase entire virtual servers or parts of cloud servers.
With the desktop as a service model, law firms can utilize virtual desktops that are highly customizable and run from the cloud. Users’ data is downloaded and uploaded to and from the cloud when users log on and off.
The private cloud computing option is similar to the managed cloud computing with one major exception: In private cloud computing, law firms do not share hardware with other companies or industries. A private cloud IT system allows law firms to maintain confidentiality and privilege when handling sensitive data on behalf of clients.
Costs of Cloud IT
When outsourcing entirely to the cloud, regardless of the configuration, law firms usually pay for a subscription-priced service that often offers a lower–entry price point compared to paying for onsite IT. Subscription based services are priced per person and normally include the programs the firm needs to operate its practice, along with IT support.
Typically, cloud providers offer a place for the firm to install an operating system and then build up its IT based on that foundation. Semi-customized programs typically include a desktop built on a Windows-based platform, MS Office, file storage, and antivirus protections. From there, firms can add their legal-specific programs of choice, such as practice management, document management, and document automation systems. This model tends to provide greater stability for the IT budget because the firm will not accumulate unexpected IT costs.
Security of Cloud IT
While all cloud providers tout their security protocols, not all of them understand the unique requirements of those in the legal industry. That is why law firms should consider a cloud-based provider that focuses on the legal industry and offers private servers with enhanced security measures, such as enterprise-grade firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and dual-factor authentication.
Firms should also look for the physical security of the data center that hosts the firm’s information (e.g., keycard access and biometric identification) and immediate disaster recovery that is enabled by a secondary site. That means that even if the firm’s office is destroyed, or one database supported by the cloud provider is compromised, attorneys and staff will only be one login away from accessing their information.
Convenience of Cloud IT
Cloud IT can be the most convenient approach, as the law firm has to spend little to no time managing IT. With this model, attorneys spend more time practicing law and the staff is able to focus on supporting the firm’s needs.
For small and mid-sized firms, there have never been more options for IT, ranging from systems that are completely hosted onsite to those that reside solely in the cloud. Attorneys should consider factors such as cost, security, and convenience, with the ultimate goal of selecting an approach that enables them to spend less time on IT and more time on their clients and law practices.
Money is one important element in the cost of IT, but building and maintaining a system also takes time and knowledge. The Legal Workspace cloud provides firms with the IT infrastructure they need without the guesswork and expense that comes with maintaining an IT department.
The Money: Traditional versus Cloud IT Infrastructure
An average firm building a traditional IT infrastructure from scratch can easily spend $22,000 for the initial set up and $45,000 for annual maintenance and licensing.
Hardware (average lifespan 3-5 years):
— Server and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): $11,000-14,000
— Backup Appliance with offsite Data Recovery: $5,000
— Windows Server: $2,000 annual licensing
— Exchange Server: $4,000 – 6,000
— IT support: $43,000 -52,000 per year. Standard IT companies charge $175/hour. It takes about 250-300 hours per year to support hardware.
The cost spirals out of control quickly. An outmoded or overloaded infrastructure can seriously hinder a law firm’s success by reducing efficiency and limiting opportunities. High-profile clients in regulated industries often perform cyber security audits and require security certifications before hiring legal counsel.
Legal Workspace operates on a pay-as-you-go model, so customers escape upfront costs. Per-user pricing allows for straightforward scalability — new users can be added in less than 24 hours. Legal Workspace includes hosted Exchange and email, preferred Microsoft Office suite version, data and app storage, nightly redundant backups to US-based tier III data centers, and unlimited tech support between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mountain Time.
Legal Workspace continually updates software and hardware so firms are always working with the most secure versions. Redundant enterprise-level firewalls, encryption, and secure, temperature-controlled data centers with generator backup make data security stronger than a law firm could implement locally.
Problems with IT happen because of equipment failure, lack of know-how, or just plain human error. These brief examples show how using the cloud eliminates bad technology situations:
— Ransomware encrypts computer files so users cannot read files without paying a ransom fee. Legal Workspace retains at least two weeks of backup files so firms infected with ransomware can simply delete infected files and restore backups.
— Legal Workspace clients, such as Berry Odom, report moving to the cloud has reduced their time spent worrying about IT by 75%. That means more time practicing law and less time on the phone with IT.
— Workers are putting in more hours at home and on the go. Legal Workspace’s cloud environment allows users to collaborate safely and securely from any device. If devices are lost or stolen, data is safely stored and protected in the Legal Workspace cloud.
Positioning for success
Legal Workspace removes technological barriers so firms can spend more time landing top-tier clients and less time managing IT.
— Legal Workspace is a complete cloud solution created exclusively for law firms
— Full IT management and maintenance offered
— Enterprise-grade security to protect against cyber threats
— Access Legal Workspace from anywhere using any device
— Military grade data centers located in the US
— Host all of your legal and business applications, no on-site servers required
— 99% uptime guarantee
Legal Workspace is a pioneer in cloud-based work environments and data storage designed specifically for law firms. Learn more or arrange a free demo at 877-713-8302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.