Increase Efficiency With Cloud Computing
Cloud Technology Myth-Busting: 4 Truths About the Cloud’s Impact on Law Firm Efficiency
Times are a-changin’
Most lawyers are transitioning data storage and essential workflows to the cloud in this digital age. Yet, some attorneys are still hesitant to take the plunge. This reluctance often stems from misinformation or a lack of clarity around cloud technologies’ benefits, cost, and ease of use. Below, we’ll correct some of the most common myths about cloud technologies.
What is cloud computing?
First things first—what in the world does “the cloud” even mean? According to Amazon Web Services, “cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.” Allow us to translate:
- Cloud servers exist in data centers around the globe.
- Users can access the same files and applications anytime, anywhere via an internet connection.
- This differs from the traditional model of software, where businesses have to run applications on their own machines and manage their own physical servers and data centers.
There are several types of cloud computing, with SaaS (software as a service) being the most common among law firms. Examples of SaaS tools for law firms include time-tracking software, billing and payment tools, legal accounting software, and document management capabilities.
Companies typically pay for these SaaS services on a subscription and/or per-user basis. In addition to providing services and handling data security to protect clients’ sensitive information, SaaS companies may also offer migration and onboarding services, support, and access to software integrations and mobile apps.
Sounds great, right? So, why are some lawyers still working with outdated spreadsheets and antiquated pen-and-paper methods? The following myths may be holding them back.
Myth: Switching to the cloud is difficult
Lawyers specialize in law, not tech. Understandably, embracing new digital devices in an age-old profession can seem daunting. But even so, adopting cloud-based tools is one of the easiest ways to make your practice more efficient and profitable.
Let’s say that you want to create a centralized firm calendar to easily schedule meetings with clients or team members. But there’s a catch—your team is full of die-hard Outlook calendar fans who don’t want to learn another system. Not a problem.
With top-rated legal calendaring software, you can create a firm-wide calendar and set up an integration with your Outlook (or Google) calendar in less than five minutes. When you add an event, it will automatically add to both calendars (the new one and your existing Outlook/Google one). Voila! Everyone gets to use their preferred calendar, and you can easily coordinate with your team on all appointments, deadlines, and meetings. It’s a win-win.
If “sans integrations” is more your style, we hear you. There are several simple methods of integrating data, which means you have the flexibility to choose what works for your firm.
- Import everything
- Import only critical data
- Import critical data and all data for open cases (and perhaps recently closed cases)
- Import only critical data and then input additional information as new cases are opened
Myth: Cloud software isn’t secure
A locked filing cabinet or a password-protected computer folder may seem like a secure document storage solution. But can it compete with cutting-edge security?
The best technology for law firms, such as SaaS tools and online payment processing software, uses high-level protection like military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. Payment processors may also be regularly evaluated by independent auditors to ensure they meet Level 1 Service Provider standards for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.
Finally, cloud software can also mitigate the risk of lost data with automatic updates. That means no more worrying about losing valuable files if a computer goes down.
Myth: Cloud technology is expensive, especially for smaller firms
SaaS software allows solo practitioners, small, and mid-sized firms to access resources that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive. For example, you may not be able to afford an in-house accountant, but you can use legal accounting software to track your law firm’s finances, reconcile transactions, and stay compliant when managing trust accounts.
Many of these SaaS tools are very affordable because they’re offered on a subscription basis—typically monthly or annually. This pricing structure offers a suite of benefits, such as smaller, consistent fees and the flexibility to scale to your firm’s individual usage.
Myth: Cloud software isn’t worth it
Also known as “cloud technology won’t impact our bottom line that much, anyway.” No disrespect, but we beg to differ. Here’s what our research and anonymized customer data shows:
- Law firms that accept online payments get paid 32% faster than those that don’t.
- More than 60% of surveyed legal professionals said their law firm collected more money due to online payment processing software.
- 54% of firms captured more leads using online (software-enabled) client intake forms. Additionally, 94% of legal professionals said document management software made document sharing easier, and 92% believed it facilitated document collaboration.
- Attorneys who use an industry-leading SaaS tool can see a 38% average increase in caseloads and gain 3+ billable hours per day.
What does this mean?
Using everyday legal cloud technology is a simple way to streamline time-consuming workflows and make your firm more efficient and profitable. For instance, LawPay can help you track time, invoice quickly, get paid securely in seconds, and ensure compliance with IOLTA and ABA guidelines.
Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, LawPay helps you run your firm efficiently—anytime, anywhere. Sign up by November 30 and pay no monthly fee for 12 months! Get started >>