Recently there has been exponential growth in cloud-based computing services, which is software that you can run through your browser online. Software such as online storage, email marketing platforms and customer relationship systems are easy to use and readily available, yet the actual growth of cloud services within the legal sector so far has been relatively slow.
Larger firms are certainly looking to invest in innovative solutions. In an attempt to identify the technologies that will allow them to increase efficiency and drive costs down, they are investigating everything from web portals to on-line document assembly and CRM systems.
Over the next few years, change will be driven by the supplier investment in ‘best of breed’ web cloud applications. As consumers, we easily use Facebook or Skype to communicate with friends. We use Google to search for information and Amazon to purchase a birthday gift. These technologies have gained our trust that they will deliver what we need every time. Commercial technologies that deliver dependable benefits, quickly and easily, will become equally successful.
In the legal sector legacy systems can be clunky and the attempt to incorporate flexibility can make them seem overly complicated. I know of employees who’ve had to resort to using personal credit cards in order to access software services that actually work!
The smaller law firm has the potential to turn this situation to their advantage. Without a team of specialist IT staff and layers of technical infrastructure to work through, the deployment of cloud technologies becomes a straight forward proposition. Security issues can be addressed by outsourcing to a trusted supplier who will offer guidance while providing exactly what is required.
Digital dictation, one of the cloud services offered by LegalTeam, is an example of this. We provide a service which was previously inaccessible to many firms due to the cost and complexity of deployment. Now dictation can be completed while authors are ‘on the go’ and dictations are instantly accessible from either home or office.
The challenge is to join client’s needs and expectations with the actual service provided. Fantastic local, or concentrated niche services, if coupled with judicious delivery of the right IT solutions will make a ‘cloudy’ future seem bright.