You might’ve noticed your fellow law firms migrating to cloud like birds flying to the south in winter. Switching to the cloud has just as many benefits as moving to the south, if not more. More storage space and the ability to access documents from any place in the world using any mobile device are just the tip of the iceberg.
However, the cloud has its downsides too. Here are 4 issues you should consider before migrating to cloud.
1) Data protection
Law firms are often forced to store heaps of sensitive data. Naturally, to protect their clients and themselves, they need to meet many data protection requirements. IT solutions, though helpful, won’t always save you from a cyber attack or data breach. The firm must ensure the data is protected in accordance with the law. Procedures like frequent data backups and the use of the correct security protocols need to be put in place.
One of the biggest reasons smaller law firms vote against cloud solutions is the possibility of cyber attacks. There are things you can do to protect your data, but you can never be 100% safe. At the same time, you face that risk with physical records too. Understand the requirements you need to meet and the things you can do to protect your data before you switch to cloud.
2) Data access
Regardless of whether you keep your data in a digital format or not, you must regulate access to it. If you keep your documents in print in a little room, it’s easy. Lock the room and keep the key. Only give it to people you trust, when they need it. Keep a sign-out sheet for all your documents, like in a library.
If your data is stored on remote servers, however, unauthorized individuals can gain access to it. That can not only result in a lawsuit and fines but damage your reputation in the eyes of your clients. The enemy can be on the inside too! Make sure to only give access to documents to people who absolutely need these documents to do their job. Retract access as soon as they no longer need it.
3) Delays in information retrieval
If you use iCloud on your Apple devices, you know it takes a few seconds to load an old video or photo. Your device needs some time to retrieve the information that is stored in the Cloud, as it’s not stored on the actual device. You might face the same issue with your legal documents.
That will put you at a disadvantage when you’re in a time crunch. It might take a couple of minutes to select all the relevant documents and export them from the cloud. Speed is often as important as accuracy, so delays in information retrieval may cause issues with especially impatient clients. Remember, implementing a new solution should never hold you back!
4) File management
The way you manage your legal documents in the office should reflect in the way you manage your documents online. Start by monitoring access to the documents. Only give access to people that need it. Are you going to let your colleagues and employees make changes to the documents you’ve uploaded on the cloud? Make these important decisions beforehand!
How are you going to preserve all of your business records? That includes not only official emails, invoices, and contracts, but also WhatsApp conversations and social media mentions. At the same time, the cloud should be able to remove your documents automatically when their time has come. You can do it manually too, but it’s time-consuming and leads to errors.
How easy is it to find what you’re looking for on the cloud? The cloud should not slow you down. On the contrary, it should make your job easier. There are add-ons and complementary solutions you can add to your cloud solution to increase productivity.
The choice is yours!
You have now seen 4 good reasons why you shouldn’t switch to cloud! Despite that, you might have to, eventually. Many of your clients are probably already using cloud-based solutions, so it’ll make your communication easier. It can make your life easier too, only if you know how to use it.
Technology is advancing, and soon, none of these reasons will be good enough to keep you off the cloud. But, for now, the choice is yours!