October 17, 2018

5 Reasons Why The Legal Industry Must Embrace The Cloud

Time to Take a Closer Look at Cloud Services

You're on the cloud all day. Firing off emails, navigating apps that assist with your day-to-day challenges and duties, and always on the move. Professionals in the legal industry (and in other industries) are faced with especially hectic schedules, working around essential deadlines, handling important documents, and in constant coordination of meetings and calls. Cloud-based applications assist in collaboration and data management already, but cloud services offer a necessary extra layer. Tools like Office 365 simplify and optimize everyday strategies for legal professionals, allowing enhanced flexibility, functionality, security, and management. 

The Cloud Vendor will have good, if not better, security and support for security than any one company" - Duane Tharpe, Cloud-Elements

Flexibility

One essential facet of cloud is that it allows for flexibility and mobility of workspace, and can fit the operational needs of a business, even as those needs grow and change. For legal professionals, "the office" is on 38th street, in a Starbucks, in your living room, in the court house, in the car, and about 100 other places. Cloud applications allow team members to access any information they need, at any time, from any location. Cloud applications such as Office 365 also offer a high level of flexibility, giving businesses the ability to scale up or down as demands change. 

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Relevant Functionality 

Efficiency is the name of the game in the legal industry, which means team members must be able to coordinate and share documents quickly, and collaborate easily. Cloud applications, such as Sharepoint, offer the ability to manage and share records and content within seconds, affording businesses more time to focus on their work and less time spent trying to coordinate. When it comes to collaboration, cloud applications mean the difference quick decisions or hours of lapsed time. Applications like Microsoft Teams allow colleagues to create, share, review, and edit documents from anywhere, and applications like Microsoft Flow allow users to automate everyday tasks by setting up workflows to trigger events like sending an email request for document approval or review. By utilizing Cloud applications that streamline daily tasks, companies can improve efficiency and overall team productivity. 

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Document Management 

Office 365 allows for large storage of sensitive documents, in the form of Excel spreadsheets, Word Documents, Outlook email, and more. For any industry, this is highly valuable, however Office 365 now offers the Microsoft Matter Center, which was created specifically for the Legal Industry. Matter Center is a free add-in to Office 365 to support case and content management, leveraging the core capabilities of Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. Key features include the ability to create cases with description and conflict verification, track case information, and access shared calendars and conversations. All the Matter Center is secure and encrypted, and integrates directly with Microsoft Outlook. 

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Security and Compliance 

"The cloud vendor will have good, if not better, security and support for security than any one company.” — Duane Tharp, Vice President of Technical Sales and Services, Cloud-Elements

Over 90% of businesses in the United States are now on the cloud in some form, and over 64% of businesses consider cloud safer for document storage than on-premise systems. Microsoft is one of the most secure cloud service providers, with added compliance capability, improved threat protection, tracking of unusual activity, and information rights management. Office 365 cloud infrastructure is monitored 24/7, with multi-factor authentication, encryption, threat management, and file/data integrity prevent or detect any tampering of data. Companies in the legal sector have a better chance of avoiding a breach with cloud service security features than those without the numerous added layers of protection. 

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Better Business Through Cloud Services

The goal of every law firm is to work efficiently and with ease, keep clients happy, and maintain the integrity of the business, while reducing operational costs and keeping data secure. Cloud services make these goals possible. With tools like those provided with Office 365 and Microsoft 365, businesses can improve team productivity and lower costs. For the legal industry, the emphasis on quick deadlines, team collaboration, shared documents, and the need for security are all supported by the Microsoft cloud functionality. Ultimately, cloud services improve every day capability, by enhancing productivity and enabling businesses to operate as they should. 

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