So Far, Yet So Near: Why Remote Desktop Systems Work in Legal - Part I: A Flexible Framework
Though many law firms still view the construction as avant garde, desktop as a service (‘DaaS’) represents the natural evolution of the cloud. The remote desktop system is a turnkey software platform, through which a number of traditional IT responsibilities may be offloaded. At the same time, it offers users added mobility and flexibility, accessible through a single storehouse of data.
If it’s a good idea to move specific software applications to the cloud, then it’s exponentially better to disburse the entire collection of your desktop applications there. Whereas a single web-based software application can provide part of the solution, a remote desktop protocol delivers a whole solution, while combining the advantages of cloud-based and premise-based data.
Law practice is more administratively and technically complex today than at any time in history. In many ways, it is more difficult to be a practicing lawyer now than it has ever been. The pervasiveness of technology has given rise to resistance from some attorneys, whereas others have applauded their view of progress coming to fruition, while the American Bar Association has launched the creation of an ethical regulatory framework. As it is with every other important item on the modern business management checklist, the ways in which law firms react to the challenge of technology will determine, in part, whether the firm is advantaged by the change, or taken under by it.
One of the distinct advantages that cloud technology, and especially a remote desktop application, offers is ubiquity of access. If all it takes is a browser icon and an internet connection to get to your virtual desktop, all your applications and data, then you can literally work from anywhere at any time (like the lakehouse, at 1 am) -- and so can your employees (no more downtime in court; those become productive, billable hours). Multiple log-ins, wonky interfaces across different devices, wasting time downloading updates: that’s all internet history. Quite literally, your office is wherever you wish it to be, and you can get work done (and monitor the work of others) at any point in time you prefer.
The crux of the mobility advantage is in answer to the fact that, a small business, like a law office, is changing all the time. There is an ebb and flow to the business of law; of course, some ebbs and some flows are longer than others. To that point, a remote desktop application allows you to ramp up or down your technology needs as business pressures are exerted. Adding an employee? You don’t need to set up a workstation. Instead, just call your remote desktop service provider, and attach another user, fitted to the protocols you ascribe. On a continuing basis, you can mix and match and add and subtract applications, as your firms needs require you to do so.
Even considering the impressive mobility and flexibility a law firm can acquire through the use of a remote desktop application, perhaps the most important aspect of choosing virtual is in the aggregation of data to a central storehouse. Internal law firm data can become unwieldy, unmanageable ‘Big Data’ when it is far-flung and misorganized. Seating all of your applications, and the data housed within each, at one platform creates a singular law firm repository that can be archived, in its entirety, via a total, and continuous, data backup. And while this sort of integrated system can be achieved without a virtual desktop application, sewing the parts together outside of that model becomes a far more difficult undertaking. If outsourcing management of your IT platform is the Holy Grail, this level of maximum convenience is what fills your cup.