With more attorneys and law firms making the leap to adopting cloud computing services in order to improve the way they operate as a business, companies like Abacus Data Systems are stepping up to provide more comprehensive packages that address every single need in the legal industry.
Recent surveys of law firms reveal the positive effect this is having on further acceptance by legal professionals, particularly as managed services are created for law firms specifically. In one survey from 2014, numbers show that just short of three quarters (72%) of larger law firms were expecting to utilize some type of cloud service during 2015, with 40% of smaller firms just as likely to follow suit in the same year.
Whether or not these firms made the move or not last year is of minor importance when compared to the number of attorneys, which are sometimes skeptical by nature of their occupation, who see value and security in utilizing managed services in the cloud. To reiterate the above, this is again largely due to the fact that businesses who offer these solutions have made it their principal focus to deliver a robust suite of managed services safeguarded by unparalleled login security protocols and protection from malware and viruses.
Skepticism, however, hasn’t been the only factor keeping law firms from adopting this new technology. Despite many firms proving the managed services model to be useful in their day-to-day, some firms worry that turning over much of their IT department to a third-party provider will cause them to “lose control” of their information or their traditional hand-on approach.
This, however, is a common misunderstanding of the nature of cloud computing and managed services in general. As Richard Seroter, a cloud expert, pointed out in an interview with Forbes, “There’s no such thing as a 9-to-5 app anymore. There’s no such thing as a maintenance window anymore, arguably, for even big enterprise applications. All these…users are in the field force, they’re at home, and they’re accessing their [firm’s] systems. Where can I make that the easiest to do? Probably not by traversing all my corporate firewalls. I should put some of those field-facing applications in a public cloud somewhere.
When you offload those data center responsibilities…This will provide the kind of agility that is missing from many [law firms] these days.”
The agility Mr. Seroter speaks of relates directly to a firm’s ability to not only turn over the typical responsibilities associated with having an IT infrastructure on-site, but additionally those internal processes that can bog down a law office’s efficiency or take away from focusing on their growth. For law firms, this commonly comes down to such items as IT management, billing, bookkeeping, workflow development and reporting.
Other reasons for the use of managed services by law firms include:
- Space: Storing massive amounts of documents, in addition to audio and video files, can be problematical for a business that doesn’t specialize in IT, even with a team at their disposal. Creating new space is not only costly, but it also doesn’t pertain to a law firm’s core business.
- Security: We’ve already touched on security a little bit, but even the top law firms aren’t using the best and latest in security services for their IT department. Cloud and managed service providers are simply required to make this part of their core offerings in order to stay in business and remain competitive.
- Support & Accessibility: With 24/7 support offered on cloud and managed services, rather than an IT department that clocks in and out for the day, those who work late can access their files or check up on managed services anytime, from any device, and anywhere there’s an internet connection. So feel free to go ahead and work from home or on the road.
- Speed: Updates to software and processes happen on the server side or in the development division of managed service providers, who can roll things out much more quickly than they would be able to otherwise. This means new services can be introduced that continue to address law-specific needs and add to a company’s suite of managed services.
Your firm can experience a total streamlining of your organization and a hands-off approach to routine office tasks while you grow your organization and increase your efficiency. Contact Abacus to get a quick breakdown of the managed services we offer beyond our case automation software and private cloud.