The World of Data Has Become Cloudy

These days more and more law firms are seeking the cloud. With this growth into the sky, there is a complexity with the creation and volume of Mobile Devices. It was said that “Mobile Devices will outnumber Humans this year.” That is a quote from 2013. In 2014 the “Independent” released an article titled “There are officially more mobile devices than people in the world.” This article went on to state that in 2014, there were 7.2 billion gadgets and they were multiplying 5 times faster than humans.

With exponential growth, there comes the need for the cloud platforms to support mobile devices. Mobile cloud developers are not only building specifically for mobile users but they are also keeping in mind the memory capacity of the smartphones and Mobile devices. Mobile cloud computing apps are mostly being accessed via a mobile browser from a remote webserver. There is often times no need for installing an application on the mobile device.

Currently, there is a focus for cloud/client synchronization of content to multiple devices and trying to address the mobility across devices. There is a priority and drive for some in the legal community to work in most stable and secure environments while utilizing the flexibility of mobile devices. They are achieving these goals by partnering with the right vendors, offering the latest technologies. Some of those vendors to make note of are World Software Corporation developers of Worldox and NetDocuments developers of NetDocuments. The World Software Corporation has been around since 1988, boasting over 6000 clients many of which whom originated in ground-based environments have been growing into the cloud at an impressive pace. On the other end of the spectrum is NetDocuments, they were established in 1999 and started in the cloud years before the real cloud revolt. NetDocuments is on pace to be one of the largest and fastest growing companies in the Legal space.

The benefits of cloud-based document management, include:

• Access to files anywhere you have a secure internet connection

• Data backup is included

• Data is safe from disasters (hurricanes, fires, etc.) because programs and data are offsite and accessible from any location with internet connectivity

• Access to files from smartphones and tablets

• Low upfront costs

• No need to buy expensive servers

• No need to hire I.T. people to maintain servers and hardware

• Ability to collaborate with outside users by setting up “document rooms”

• Better security than we can build under our own roof

There are other flavors of cloud as well that may be more appropriate and economical for firms, such as hosting or renting your infrastructure (servers, etc.) and keeping the mature on-premises programs that you have been using for years. Solution partners such as Procirrus provide these services.

Getting law firms to evolve and change can be a challenge. Many firms are scaled to meet only the demands of today, which makes the idea of future growth/planning daunting. For firms in this state, they are often unaware of the solution or companies and their offerings. There are also firms that possess the knowledge but are simply unwilling or resistant to making a change. In these situations, Affinity Consulting can help guide them safely to cloud solutions, or keep a firm on premises if that is the best option for the firm. These are not easy decisions, but we can help. The cloud isn’t always the answer, but it is becoming the answer more and more. We can help you navigate through this difficult analysis. The cloud only seems far away when you have a ground-based perspective!!

If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.” ~ Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce.

Scott Bassett

Written by Scott Bassett

One of the biggest priorities for us at Affinity is to consistently connect with and educate our clients. Scott is the person who makes that happen. Month in and month out, Scott, as editor of our newsletter, herds the proverbial cats to gather timely and relevant news to share with our network of clients and contacts. Writing, editing, brainstorming content – Scott does it all. And he does it beautifully thanks to his deep knowledge of law and understanding of what information helps legal professionals. Scott has been a practicing attorney since 1981 and has dabbled in providing technology consulting for law firms. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Wayne State, and continues to teach at Stetson University College of Law.

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