Just like many other businesses and industries, law firms have begun to make the move into the cloud. There are a number of advantages associated with moving your firm to a cloud solution, but it is important to understand how your firm plans to make the move to begin managing your practice in the cloud.
Saying you want to move your firm into the cloud isn’t the most descript statement. It’s important that your firm makes a decision about how you want to move your firm into the cloud. This means your firm needs to understand the options when it comes to practice management in the cloud.
Native Cloud vs. Hosted Solutions
The first thing your firm needs to decide is if you want to use a hosted or native cloud solution. While the two options may seem similar, they are vastly different and each has its own pros and cons. It’s important to start off by understanding just what native or hosted cloud means.
Hosted Cloud – Just as the name states, is HOSTING a windows environment in a 3rd party data center. Meaning your entire computer essentially will be accessed through the internet.
Once connected, look and feel is very similar to using your own computer. You can install applications, store files etc.
Native Cloud – Individual web application accessed through your browser. So think of Gmail, Facebook/Twitter or even online banking. They are accessed and managed individually
The experience is much different from desktop applications as the technology is more advanced.
Data Migration For Law Firms
Few law firms have tried to migrate their data from one practice management system to another and don’t have a horror story to tell you, especially if they were dealing with legal accounting data. If your firm is making the move to the cloud, you need a plan to migrate your data. Migrating to a hosted solution means that your hosting vendor manages most of your migration, moving your applications, not your data. Be aware, that when moving your application from one server to another, you may have to address licensing issues with your software and vendor.
On the other hand, moving to a native cloud solutions means that your data must be exported from your current system and uploaded to your new cloud application. While this has long been a challenge for firms looking to move their practice into the cloud, some solutions, such as CosmoLex, have worked hard to increase the ease with which firms are able to migrate their accounting data to a new system in the cloud. For example, if you choose to subscribe to CosmoLex, a professional migration team will contact you and can assist you with the entire migration process, utilizing automated tools and easy-to-follow procedures
Hopefully, this has been an informative introduction if you’re planning on migrating your law practice to the cloud. There is a great deal of information to consider when making your decision and this is only the beginning. To get a more in-depth look at moving your practice into the cloud, view our free webinar Moving to The Cloud, What You Need to Know.