COVID-19 has made it clear that law firms and legal departments who adopted cloud solutions before the pandemic were in a far better position than those relying on on-premise technology.
Those organizations who had their mission-critical applications “in the cloud,” transitioned their people to be 100% “virtual” without skipping a beat. In many cases, the transition was successfully done overnight, with no planning, because employees simply needed a computer and internet connectivity.
Those relying on on-premises technology struggled, and continue to struggle even 3 months later because only a handful of users were set up to work remotely, and the technology is, at best, clunky. In fact, we are seeing many firms preparing to make the switch to cloud this summer in preparation for a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
We have a ton of recommendations for working remotely, and there are a ton of benefits to cloud solutions. Distilled down to the essentials, to be prepared for emergencies like COVID-19, your workforce should be nimble enough to work from anywhere. Working from anywhere requires these two things.
- Move all your applications to “the cloud.”
- Invest in a laptop computer for every employee (lawyer, paralegal, legal assistant, and administrative folks – everyone).
No more desktop computers. Invest in a laptop, docking station, 2 full-sized monitors, and wireless keyboard & mouse. This will give everyone the ability to work from anywhere.
In regard to “the cloud,” there are two primary roads to take. First, there are SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions. Examples of SaaS include Cosmolex, NetDocuments, Centerbase, Clio, RocketMatter, etc. These are vendors who own the software and deliver it to you via a browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, etc.
Second, there are IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solutions who rent you the use of servers in a data center. You still own the software, like PCLaw, LawBase, PracticeMaster, Tabs3, etc., and then a “white-glove” IaaS provider like ProCirrus (www.procirrus.com) provides you access to those programs and your data through a very advanced thin-client technology that feels “very local” and fast. With a solution like ProCirrus, you can have SaaS solutions (like NetDocuments document management) and your traditional legacy applications (like Tabs3 or Orion for time, billing & accounting).
There are a number of other advantages to Cloud:
- Cloud makes you less reliant on local IT services, saving you money.
- Cloud solutions often come with world-class security.
- Cloud typically involves a much lower up-front cost.
- There is no need to purchase servers.
- There are more options for Mac users.
- With SaaS solutions, software updates are typically bite-sized and cause minimal disruption.
- Tech support is included.
- Your applications are accessible from anywhere there is internet connectivity.
- Data redundancy and data backup.
Whatever the reason, what has become clear is that “Cloud” solutions are no longer just “nice to have.” Cloud solutions are essential to our survival.
If you need help moving your firm's software and infrastructure to the cloud to get through this pandemic and any future crisis, contact us or call (877) 676-5492.