I recently presented on this topic at the Law Management Section’s Finance & Business Conference, so you can download a copy of the full presentation at the foot of this post.
The presentation includes screenshots and information on some of the key hosted applications that are helping law firms to implement new initiatives more quickly and effectively than they could do in the past; all of which are worth checking out.
However, there is more to consider to make sure you make the right moves, as discussed below. If you want to find out more about what solutions and approach might work best for your people and your practice, I’m always happy to have a preliminary discussion about options for free if you call me on 07779 653105 or contact me here.
Lawyers don’t have to wait to “move to the Cloud”; most of you are already there, using online and hosted applications. There are many good hosted / online tools you can use now to fill gaps in current on-premise systems. Some examples given in here include:
- Management Information and KPI dashboards
- Market and Business Intelligence
- Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems
- Automated time capture
- Social media e.g. Linkedin and Twitter
- Conveyancing searches
- Microsoft Office 365
We want our clients to use more cloud applications where it makes sense, but there is a quandary …
Using applications “in the Cloud” today means that your people are entering passwords to access data from various locations and more, posing data security risks; often without the IT team really knowing who is using what – and being poorly equipped, funded or supported from the top to implement effective and essential data security systems. Not a lot of management time has gone into addressing risks here in – I would say – most law firms.
And by the way, the biggest risk to data security, is your own people; not hackers – so you can do something significant about this to reduce the risks. Using encryption more consistently would be a good start.
When you actually move your IT infrastructure to the Cloud (e.g. moving to a hosted practice management system), it is more likely that data security issues will be considered, but are still not fully addressed in most firms.
However, perhaps we now have the answer? Because clients are beginning to demand proper data security from their lawyers; and because cybercrime has been recognised as a serious risk for law firms, senior management in law firms are just beginning to invest time and money in data security e.g. to achieve ISO 27001 accreditation.
If that means proper security systems are implemented, then lawyers can get on and use these Cloud applications (which are inherently more secure and reliable than systems running in your office) then get on and use more of these Cloud applications to develop your business … with confidence.
They can help you engage people more quickly and produce results earlier with (almost) “ready to use” systems involving less IT development pain on new initiatives. However, lawyers need to catch up on IT security to do this safely.