How Cloud Storage Benefits Your Law Firm
The Legal Tech industry has been shaking up the way law firms operate on a day to day basis. One of the key changes has been the ever increasing usage of Cloud Storage and electronic documents within, and outside the law firm. The days of storing documents in a filing cabinet are slowly ebbing away. Even keeping the documents on an external hard drive or on your computer decreases your firm’s efficiency and puts your firm at risk. Let’s take a look at some of the risks and benefits of how you store your firms’ documents.
Believe it or not, we still come across law firms that store and use all of their files in paper format. Rows and rows of filing cabinets stuffed full of documents along with boxes piling up in offices slowly overtaking all your available office space. Sure, we all understand that some documents need to be in paper format. We still receive medical records in paper format, they are easier to review, sort and organize in a paper format. We get it, however we do not store the documents in a paper format. This is the tried and true way that law firms operated on for many years. Does this system work? The short answer is yes, but is it worth the risk of misplacing documents or possibly losing everything to a fire or water damage?
Storing all of your firms’ documents on a hard drive or work computers can be an effective way to operate. All your documents are easily accessible on your computer and can be secured through encryption. Documents can be shared on the network with all employees that need access to the documents. It is a relatively easy way to operate, however you still run the risk of lost or damaged laptops where you could potentially lose all of your documents. What happens if you see the dreaded blue screen on your laptop and cannot retrieve all of your files? Think about starting over with all of your cases, you need releases, contracts, case pertinent documents, medical records…the list goes on and on. This could be a daunting loss to your firm and would set you back operationally and financially.
The advent of Cloud Storage is just another step up from using hard drives/laptops. This is another tool for your firm to utilize to mitigate risk and operate more efficiently. Yes, you should still have your laptops encrypted if you have any sensitive information or PHI to follow guidelines for HIPAA. What Cloud Storage does is allow documents to be organized and stored securely at a minimal risk to your firm. Documents can be shared with anyone, from any location. How much easier would it be if you were out of the office for court and you need a document immediately? Simply log in to your cloud storage system and search for your document. This is much easier and efficient then having to worry about if the document is on your laptop, or a paralegal’s laptop that you cannot easily access. From a security and ease of use standpoint utilizing a cloud storage system is the way to save your firm time, money and increase your efficiency.
Cloud Storage Options:
Your first option could be to use a Cloud Storage vendor to store, organize and secure your work files. The main options are Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, SkyDrive etc. Many of these options provide a cheap and reliable cloud storage platform for your firm to use. On the other hand, many case management software companies provide cloud storage as part of their service. You can easily store all of your case pertinent documents in the case management software to track everything that is needed in one platform.
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