What Are the Benefits of a Cloud-Based Practice Management System?
You might imagine that with the rapid shift to remote work in 2020, many law firms would have switched to accessible, cloud-based software. Unfortunately, even though cloud-based software is safe, cost-effective, and client-centric, only about 60% of law firms use the cloud, up only 1% from pre-pandemic levels.
Of those firms, most were using cloud-based services designed for the general public, like Microsoft Teams or Dropbox. However, cloud-based law practice software that caters to the specific requirements and needs of both large and small law firms can help firms boost productivity, simplify documentation, and even make client information more secure.
Many law firms cite concerns over security as the main reason they’re hesitant to shift their data to the cloud. But consider that most large healthcare organizations, which manage private medical information for millions of patients, use a cloud-based patient portal. These organizations repeat the many benefits that cloud-based software provides, so why can’t your firm?
Check out these benefits to learn how cloud-based law practice software could positively impact your firm and your clients.
What is the cloud?
You’ve probably heard of the cloud, but what is it really? Simply put, the cloud is a web-based data management solution. Storing data on the cloud makes it accessible from a remote server rather than on physical hardware like computers or other storage management systems. When data is stored and managed on the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere using any device that connects to the internet.
For lawyers accustomed to storing all information on paper files in the office, making the change to a cloud-based practice management system may sound intimidating, but cloud-based law practice software is easy to use and has many benefits for attorneys and clients.
Benefit #1: Remote access
The pandemic may have pushed remote work to the forefront of many people’s minds, but the flexibility it provides has brought enduring changes to the workplace. These days, employees are seeking flexible remote or hybrid in-office/from home options, and workplaces that offer flexible working options are more competitive and desirable.
Cloud-based law practice software makes remote working not only possible but more collaborative. By storing client files on the cloud, your entire legal team can access documents whether they’re in the office, in the courtroom, or at home. Because data is synced and updated in real time, your team can access and update documents at the same time—there’s no need to send big files back and forth over email.
Ultimately, working on matters in the cloud increases the efficiency and productivity of your firm, freeing up your time for new clients and more complex cases.
Benefit #2: Increased security
There’s a common misconception that cloud-based software is less secure than physical files or in-house data management, but actually, cloud-based law practice software keeps privileged client information more secure than any other data management option.
Physical files held in an office are subject to theft or damage from water or fire. Data stored on in-house servers is vulnerable to cyberattacks and can be lost if a power outage occurs or a computer is lost or stolen.
By contrast, legal-specific cloud software is extremely secure. Cloud-based software companies have greater resources to invest in data encryption, and many use bank-grade or even military-grade encryption standards to prevent cyberattacks and hacks. Cloud-based software also automatically backs up data and performs software updates, so a backup copy of all data is secure even if an outage occurs.
Additionally, legal-specific software is designed to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements regarding client data privacy, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re following all rules and regulations pertaining to client information.
Benefit #3: Client-focused
Happy clients are loyal clients, and one of the best ways to make clients happy is to leverage technology to create an unparalleled client experience. Cloud-based software allows clients to view documents, sign paperwork, communicate with their attorney, and even pay invoices from home, making every interaction with your firm easier and more accessible.
Each year, consumers expect to do more online—from paying credit card bills to obtaining medical treatment to buying cars, the internet has changed the way businesses run. Ready or not, cloud-based law practice software is here, and today’s clients expect the same ease of access they experience with any other business. It’s simple—if your firm refuses to adapt to the needs of today’s clients, you’re going to lose business.
Benefit #4: Cost-effective
Technology can be expensive, but so is real estate. Consider the hardware and physical office space required to house your current data management system. By pivoting to a cloud-based law practice software, you can downsize your physical office while managing data costs with a predictable fee.
Most cloud-based practice management software operates on a subscription model in which your firm pays a flat monthly or yearly fee for each user. This keeps data management costs predictable and allows you to easily scale your business over time since no additional equipment is needed to onboard new employees.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the ways a cloud-based practice management system can benefit your firm. There are also significant implications for your IT department, which will be free to spend time adding value to your firm rather than managing the technological difficulties of employees. Additionally, storing data in a centralized location allows you to analyze your firm’s performance across matters and identify workflow bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
It’s time to make the switch to a cloud-based practice management system
More businesses are transitioning to cloud-based platforms every year; is it time for your firm to join the trend and experience all the benefits that cloud-based law practice software can provide?
When you’re ready to transition to a cloud-based platform, choose CosmoLex—a reputable, secure platform with transparent pricing and easy-to-use features. To see why we’re trusted by thousands of law firms, contact us today to schedule a demo.