How Using “The Cloud” Can Transform Your Firm
Many small law firms think they can get by as they always have, using their manila folders and writing things by hand, keeping their heads down and filing things in a physical location. They hope that the cloud will pass overhead like a weather pattern, leaving them untouched.
Any lawyer who does this will be out of business in five years, as that cloud will turn into a storm.
“The cloud” has always been this ubiquitous term, yet also foreign and mysterious. One day it just appeared in television commercials and expected us to understand it. “To the cloud!” the actors declared; and we stared at the screen, blank and uncomprehending.
“What the heck is the cloud?” we said. A hard drive… in the sky?
Kind of? It’s a pool of shared information that is managed, backed up and maintained over a remote network. What it means is that a client’s information should be accessible by any attorney from any computer, tablet or device that is linked to that network at any time, as long as they have proper authorization.
What can “the cloud” do for my business?
Physical files are actually a liability at this point. A file left on a desk can be viewed by anybody strolling by. Critical information like social security numbers or bank account numbers might be seen. A janitor might accidentally throw the file away. Those folders and documents should be scanned, batched and added to the cloud, backed up in a secondary location and the physical files disposed of.
Additionally, once all of a law firm’s files have been uploaded, this allows for critical business analysis to be completed. Cloud analytics allows information to be distilled from the massive amounts of uploaded data and presented in ways that provide value to the organization.
The reasons for moving to cloud-based analytics and business intelligence platforms are minimized hardware, infrastructure, and administrative costs. Firms make more cohesive decisions because the information is available to everyone at the same time. Each employee is on a level playing field. Instead of focusing on small-minded tasks like physical timesheets, people can focus on actual work.
Companies that use business analytics are five times as likely to make decisions faster than their market peers, three times as likely to make decisions as intended, and twice as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performance in their industry.
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