NuLaw is a Salesforce case management application designed to meet the needs of the modern law firm. It is also a cloud application offered via the software as a service (SaaS) model. We designed NuLaw to take full advantage of the cloud because we are convinced that the cloud is superior to localized computing.
Apparently, we are not alone. According to the 2018 Legal Technology Survey from the ABA, 55% of surveyed attorneys acknowledged using cloud computing software within the previous 12 months. That number was 36% in the 2016 survey. So what is driving so many law firms to the cloud?
Based on the 2018 survey, here are the top five factors:
1. Ease of Access
The number one reason cited by attorneys is the ease of access cloud applications afford. By design, a cloud application is not hosted on a local network. It resides on a network server in a remote location. This makes an enormous difference in terms of access.
A cloud server is like any other internet server. It can be accessed from virtually anywhere in the world with just an internet connection and a device to get online. As such, cloud-based legal software makes information available to attorneys and support staff regardless of location.
2. Around-The-Clock Availability
Cloud-based software also allows for around-the-clock availability. Again, remember that you are dealing with an internet server that never shuts down. If an attorney decides to review certain aspects of a case after hours, he/she can do so in the cloud.
3. Low Startup Costs
Law firms moving into the cloud are often doing so because they have decided it is time to replace legacy software. They discover that the cloud option involves lower startup costs. Indeed, getting started usually means paying a small set-up fee and the cost of the subscription. Law firms do not have to buy expensive software or upgrade their network equipment.
When you consider how software licensing works in the modern era, lower startup costs suddenly become very attractive. Law firms access NuLaw on a subscription basis. If they were to purchase locally hosted software, they would also be purchasing licenses for every computer on the network – which can get costly.
4. Backups and Data Recovery
Locally hosted software has to be backed up on a regular basis. Backups have to be stored in a separate location in order to support data recovery efforts. All of this means extra work on the part of the law firm. That work goes away with cloud applications.
The application provider, NuLaw in this case, handles everything related to backups and data recovery. We keep the customer’s data environment protected. We make the backups and store them in separate locations. And should the system never crash, we handle data recovery as well.
5. Reduced Deployment Time
Finally, law firms are turning to cloud-based case management applications out of a desire to reduce deployment time. They want new software up and running as quickly as possible so that lost time and productivity are kept to a minimum.
Cloud-based applications like NuLaw are perfectly suited for this. The software itself is already up and running. New clients need only complete a brief onboarding process to activate their subscriptions and upload their data. What could take weeks or months to complete with locally hosted software can be done in the cloud in just days.
Law firms are moving to the cloud with greater frequency. There are plenty of good reasons for doing so, beginning with the top five mentioned in this post.