Cloud is one of the hot topics in IT and has been for the past few years. Prior to 2010, cloud products were often inferior to their traditional on-premise counterparts. Since then, however, much has changed, including advancements in telecom, mobile devices, and data center technologies. Combine that with the maturity of cloud providers and products, and now cloud solutions are often positioned as the best option for law firms.
Cloud may already be a part of your firm’s IT, but just because your email, for example, may already be in the cloud, does not mean your firm can sit back and leave the rest. It also does not mean that cloud is always the best answer. The right IT for any size law firm may be done either in the cloud or on premise; where cloud usually wins is in the total cost of ownership.
Here are some things we’ve learned from working with hundreds of clients when helping law firms move to the cloud.
Email is the most obvious resource to move to the cloud, and most law firms we work with have had their email in the cloud for some time. It was one of the first services available in the cloud and has proven itself to be more reliable, cost effective, and simple to run in the cloud.
Many firms that we work with that have fewer than 50 employees have moved their phone service to the cloud in what’s called hosted VoIP. The phones on the attorneys’ desks still look and feel like regular phones. Rather than connecting to a private branch exchange (PBX) in the phone closet and having phone lines or T1s serving the system, the phones connect over the internet to a cloud provider, work anywhere in the world, and offer many more features and higher reliability than the traditional model. Back in 2010, hosted VoIP was not on par with traditional phone systems, but today, when done right, reliability, call quality, and total cost of ownership usually tip the scales in favor of cloud.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Backup and disaster recovery are a natural fit for the cloud since data is securely stored offsite. Long gone are the days of carrying tapes home in your briefcase each night. Almost every firm we work with that has in-house servers utilizes cloud for fully-automated offsite backups, and many have business continuity features, as well, to protect them from a major disaster (unfortunately, these things do happen as we all know).
Desktop as a Service
Moving desktops to the cloud has been one of the most popular options for law firms in the past three years. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) allows a law firm to keep using all of their existing applications, like time and billing, case management, and accounting. It eliminates the headaches associated with remote access systems, such as Citrix and remote desktop. Just like VoIP, when done properly, it will perform faster and more reliably than desktop computers. Plus, it offers better security, remote access, compliance, and often a lower total cost of ownership.
Here at Tabush Group, we have been serving hundreds of small and midsize firms for nearly 20 years, learning their IT needs and providing them with the best solutions. We knew there had to be a better way to deliver IT: one that would allow managers to focus on growing their companies, rather than thinking about their IT. We wanted to take full advantage of the cloud and simplify IT for our clients, and so, we developed Boxtop, our DaaS solution, about 3 years ago. We've come a long way since then, helping numerous law firms move their IT to the cloud, eliminating the need for costly infrastructure and upgrades, enabling companies to easily scale, increasing stability, and much more.
When to Consider Cloud
This raises the question, “when is the best time to consider moving to the cloud?” Perhaps the network or servers will need to be replaced soon; maybe your firm has an upcoming move planned or expansion to an additional office location; or perhaps one of the partners is concerned about data security and disaster preparedness in response to a story they recently heard. Regardless of the scenario, the next time your firm is discussing IT, consider the cloud. Today, cloud is more available, reliable, and cost effective than ever before. More importantly, when done right, it lets you focus on what matters – your clients – rather than IT headaches. Cloud should always be on the table as an option.
At Tabush Group, we’ve helped many firms understand their options, make the right decisions, and see those decisions through to completion. For more information or to request your free Boxtop demo, visit www.tabush.com/boxtop.