If you’re a law firm that uses any form of computer-based system, the chances are you’ve heard about ‘the cloud’. Whether it’s your client data, your diary of judicial hearings, your website or your reports, any business in the legal sector is bound to have a large amount of information which needs to be organised and held securely.
The cloud has developed considerably over the years. Today, simply using a cloud platform is not enough. To stay up-to-date and protected, cloud integration is key. Tech Target defines cloud integration as: “the process of configuring multiple application programs to share data in the cloud.”The point of this is a holistic, ‘joined-up’ system of cloud storage, allowing each user to access personal data, in real time, from any location, with any device.
Using an integrated cloud service, users can integrate their own personal data from the cloud to tools such as calendars and contact lists, using a range of applications. To make this process as streamlined as possible, users should be able to use a single set of login credentials for all of these personal applications.
But how is all of this achieved? In an integrated cloud environment, control messages are passed quickly and securely between the different applications that use the data. Whilst the former method of using data silos could cause data conflicts and vulnerabilities, this integrated process maintains data integrity and allows for future scalability, whether in the number of users of the system, or the amount of applications added into it.
Why is cloud integration important?
Cloud integration is key to any law firm. For employees, it means that the data they need from their work is easily accessible. In terms of data protection, the cloud is much more secure, and makes finding client data easy in any circumstance.
However, there are also more business-led reasons to use cloud integration. As IT Pro Portal says:
“The cloud eliminates massive capital costs and all the complexities of maintaining software on your own. But cloud-washed – defined as on-premise software rebranded as cloud software – simply won’t do for those organisations truly looking to change the speed and trajectory of their business. By providing cloud-native solutions, you deliver the full benefits of the cloud to customers.”
Undoubtedly, using an integrated cloud service will make your law firm more organised, productive and reliable – thus making it a more attractive choice for clients – and reducing the risk of dreaded data breaches.
What should you be looking for from cloud integration?
To get the full capability of the cloud, it is important to use it wisely – and to choose a cloud support provider carefully. So what should you be looking for?
Of course, the primary factor you should be looking for from any cloud integration platform is security. Ensuring that the platform is water-tight requires passwords, or even two-step authentication for every user to be put into place. However, simplicity is also a key factor in making sure your cloud integration model runs seamlessly.
To ensure this happens, open and vendor-neutral cloud integration should be central. This allows both employees and customers to access the information relevant to them without compromising sensitive data. Your employees must also be able to manage data and synchronisation between applications and devices, using tools such as API creation and B2B management. This will allow you to access data quickly and share it with clients, colleagues and partners immediately.
Challenges and resolutions
As Tech Target says: “cloud application management is still an entirely different beast for IT teams compared to on-premises environments.” This is very true – and it is important to use an integrated cloud system that has been both created specially for your specific business, and by those who have technological expertise to ensure it is managed correctly.
As users will be able to access any information on the cloud via any device, data protection is a top priority. Therefore it is always advisable to outsource your cloud services to the professionals who know how to ensure your information is safe – particularly with the impacts of GDPR.
To find out more about how we can help you create an integrated and efficient cloud system, contact us today on 020 3355 7334.