With “Holly” on a mission to take control of her work situation – aiming to instil a feeling of Zen in her workspace – she has come to us seeking answers.
And we are happy to oblige Holly. As always.
She has been hearing a lot of chatter around “the Cloud”. She even read it in our article Trend Spotting. But quite honestly, Holly has no clue what “the Cloud” is.
But she has been told that “Cloud Computing” is necessary, “Cloud Computing” is the way to go. Especially for lawyers who deal with a lot of information, manage many documents, and analyse a huge scope of data. The importance of cloud-based storage for lawyers is apparently crucial.
And she gets that. But she is just not sure what “the Cloud” is or what “Cloud Computing” and “Cloud Storage” actually mean. How does it help her?
Fear not “Holly”, we got you!
What is the Cloud?
First things first – “the Cloud” is a collection of networked computer hardware that work together to provide aspects of computing. But only online.
The simplest example of how “everyday people” use “the Cloud” is through Dropbox and iCloud to store photos, email, music, calendars, contacts, and other data in a central location (accessible from whatever device you happen to be using at the time).
Using “the Cloud” has also solved the problem of storing “big data”. With there being very little physical space, the digital world had to step in. Storing big data in “the Cloud” became the best solution – a “place” to store data that is both secure and easily accessible by companies.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is simply a system that allows you to store data on the web, as you would save it on a computer. But remotely. Whether you’re talking about Google Drive, DropBox, or iCloud, the definition of cloud storage remains the same. It basically enables you to upload data to cloud-based servers.
Once you have stored your data on “the Cloud”, you can access it from multiple devices.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, whilst also involving users connecting to remote computing infrastructure via a network, is more often used to work on and complete specified projects. This set-up allows for shared processing power, software, and other resources.
BUT you must move data to the cloud before you can make use of cloud computing systems. It sounds like an obvious statement but there you go.
Because, once the data is moved to “the Cloud”, it can then be processed and used accordingly.
In a nutshell
Prior to “the Cloud”, people used to run downloaded software programs on their computer’s memory using the computer’s own processing power.
However, “the Cloud” has done away with all of that and has enabled people to access not only software services but also a wide range of other computing services like servers, data storage, analytics, networking, and software updates over the internet.
And for all that, you only need an internet browser and a device with an internet connection. Simple as that. Truly enabling a work from anywhere environment.
- For more information on “the Cloud”, read our article Cloud Hosting – Managed or Traditional?
But how can the Cloud help Holly?
Firstly, while the legal market has been slow to fully embrace “the Cloud” because of security concerns, those concerns have all but disappeared with Cloud security being vastly improved on.
Cloud-based storage has now become increasingly more attractive as it allows legal professionals to fully operate remotely (and in “the Cloud”) whilst also providing teams with more opportunities to collaborate efficiently. And online (aka remotely).
The set up of a cloud computing system is also far easier than older “on-premises” legal software.
In addition, when it comes to backing-up your data (which is crucial), cloud-based systems automatically refresh and update by themselves (without having to repeatedly ask an IT department or outsourced IT support to perform a manual organisational wide update).
By doing so, “the Cloud” helps lawyers (like Holly) save IT staff time as well as the (sometimes vast) spend on external IT support. Time spent offline (while updates are being done) is also all but eliminated. Offering not just a time saving benefit but a cost saving one too
And if your Cloud provider offers Software as a Service (SaaS), they actually take care of regular software and security updates on behalf of their users i.e. it is automatically done for you.
Lastly, Cloud storage and services can be tailor made for each law firm on an “as needed basis” without having to invest vast amounts of cash on additional (or new) IT staff, software, or equipment. Costs can be better managed. And in today’s market, that is a BIG advantage.
- For more info on “back-ups” read our articles Oh no! I have to update and The Relative Simplicity of Updating.
Work Zen is within reach
By approaching your service provider, like AJS, you can easily achieve a state of Work Zen in no time. By using your software package for what it is actually meant for (which is not just legal accounting) you can approach each day with a Zen-like peace knowing that everything is perfectly in its place. That everything is being managed and that all is fine.
Because you have the support and back-up to ensure that is the case.
There are a lot of attorneys who have the software packages in place but are just not sure how to fully use them, what everything does and how they can optimise their practice to ensure that it is performing with accuracy and reliability.
But, with the help of AJS, your practice (regardless of its size) can (and will) succeed.
We will continue going through tips, answering your FAQ’s, and providing you with information that will better equip the everyday user of legal tech, like you and like Holly, to achieve a state of Work Zen.
It’s all easy. If you know how… Just ask us.