Legal documents are foundational to any law firm — but with thousands upon thousands of documents to store, managing them all can be a challenge. And while most law firms have transitioned away from physical storage of documents, many Firms are still using an on-premises document management system (DMS). However, there’s a much more powerful, efficient, and flexible option for storing and organizing documents: the cloud.
In this article, we share some of the benefits cloud storage offers plus key features a law firm should consider when evaluating cloud storage options.
Benefits of Cloud Storage for Law Firms
The American Bar Association cites anytime/anywhere access, low cost of entry, predictable monthly expenses, and robust security as key factors pushing law firms to pursue cloud technology.
Cloud storage enables users to access files securely from anywhere, on any device — without the need for an unreliable VPN connection. This provides users with greater flexibility, including the ability to work remotely or get things done outside normal working hours.
Cost Savings & Scalability
Compared with on-premises solutions, the setup and ongoing costs of cloud storage platforms is much less expensive. Typically, law firms will only pay one-time implementation costs plus predictable monthly user fees for cloud storage. In contrast, an on-premises solution will incur high costs for system set up, hardware, software licenses, maintenance, and more.
In a similar vein, scaling an on-premises system to expand your storage capacity can be difficult and costly. Cloud storage solutions can easily scale to fit your firm’s needs.
Cloud storage solutions can be more secure than an on-premises system. Whereas on-premises systems rely on a law firm’s own IT resources, cloud providers have a strong incentive to commit extensive resources to securing their customers’ data.
This means stronger security built into the platform, quicker response to emerging threats, and more agile bug fixes. It also means updates can be automatically pushed to customers without the need for system downtime.
Storing documents in the cloud helps attorneys collaborate with colleagues and clients. Whereas on-premises systems may require you to export documents to a third-party to collaborate with external users, the cloud makes it simple. However, note that commercial cloud storage solutions not always designed to meet the stringent security requirements of legal work.
Cloud Storage Features for Law Firms
Keep these things in mind when evaluating a cloud-based DMS:
- How will the solution enhance your security posture? Strong security is of paramount importance when choosing your law firm’s cloud storage platform. Your reputation depends on it.
- Can you control user access down to the document level? Ensure you have granular control over which users can access what, and ensure the system you choose keeps confidential information protected from unauthorized eyes.
- Does it offer version control? Choose a provider that helps you keep track of file versions, along with a complete version history.
- Is it integrated with your favorite work tools? You want to be able to move seamlessly between working on documents and keeping them stored. Your solution should integrate with the tools you use every day (including email) so you can streamline your productivity.
- Does it offer any additional tools to support collaboration? Collaboration is more than just passing documents back and forth. Look at solutions that help create workflows and communicate via real-time messaging.
- Will the solution support any file type? Modern legal matters often involve many types of files beyond just documents, including images, audio, and video files. Make sure the solution allows you to save variious file types.
- Will your provider help you stay compliant with regional regulations? See if your provider offers key tools to stay up-to-date with the compliance regulations that govern your region, including any client data under your care.
How NetDocuments Can Help
NetDocuments is the preferred SaaS cloud storage solution for law firms. But what our platform offers is so much more than storage.
Our legal-centric document and email management system delivers the best in security while increasing your firm’s productivity with an array of tools and features to keep you organized, align your team, enhance collaboration, and much more.