Whether you’ve watched the hit TV show Suits or are still hooked on Law and Order, it’s easy to assume that attorneys live a glamorous lifestyle of killing it in the courtroom and protecting their clients. Unfortunately, the unglamorous reality is that attorneys are piled under countless documents, PDFs, and emails, and must be diligent about keeping these highly-confidential pieces secure and organized at all times.
Working out of hundreds of documents daily, attorneys are ethically required to ensure the security of each file they touch. This is why today, attorneys require iron-clad security measures, access flexibility, collaboration solutions, and intuitive user interfaces from their legal document management systems (DMS). Unfortunately, these tight security measures often conflict with the usability of any on-premises software.
In our recent webinar, Do Great Work, Faster: Balancing Security + Usability When Selecting a DMS, Elizabeth Benegas, General Counsel for NetDocuments, discusses how to balance these conflicting needs of security and usability with Todd Nugent, Director of Application Development & Security for Affinity Consulting. During the discussion, they detailed how cloud platforms have quickly become the top solution to this balancing act. Let’s dive in.
High-security risks and regulations have traditionally meant that law firms use on-premise systems. These systems hold all client information on software tied exclusively to in-office hardware and have traditionally been considered safer because the data could only be accessed at one location.
However, as more companies and individuals go digital, it’s clear that on-premises systems cannot safely meet the evolving needs and expectations of clients. Studies show that clients are demanding more for less from lawyers. They want to understand what attorneys are doing with their information, clearly see what they are paying for, and want the job done faster than ever.
To meet rising expectations, it’s crucial that attorneys secure access to data no matter where they are, and collaborate with colleagues and clients in efficient ways.
The restrictions that once made on-premises systems safe are now, in fact, contributing to higher data exposure. Attorneys are working around the system to create flexibility by printing and circulating hard copies without monitoring their disposal or sending documents as email attachments at risk of interception.
Attorneys require a secure DMS solution beyond on-premise systems that can cover both security threats and comply with data protection law and regulation. These and other factors are why cloud systems are emerging as a safer option for securing client data while providing the mobility and collaborative elements legal teams need.
As law firms focus on supporting their staff in meeting client expectations, many are moving to a cloud document management system. A cloud DMS is uniquely capable of providing deeper security, flexible anywhere access, and innovative features that keep the firm competitive and ahead of market needs. In addition, a strong cloud DMS is increasingly becoming the centerpiece for a true-cloud tech stack.
On-premises systems require invasive, time-consuming, and costly updates to maintain security measures and share new features across a variety of instances.
In contrast, cloud systems are designed to quickly adapt to new security requirements and market needs as a direct result of their single-instance architecture. Therefore, development teams that support cloud systems can focus on product development and strengthening the platform’s security instead of simply maintaining it.
In today’s mobile world, attorneys require cloud systems so they can access and work from anywhere – without compromising client data and security. Whether attorneys need updated information from a partner while in the courtroom, are finishing a contract while waiting at the airport, or chiming in on a case from their favorite vacation spot, ease-of-access and the ability to work from anywhere is a must. Additionally, greater flexibility enables real-time collaboration with colleagues, leading to better work-product and quicker turnaround times.
Cloud-based DMS are especially useful as they create a basis for building the rest of a firm’s tech stack. Modern firms use a variety of applications to provide their clients with excellent, competitive service. While a DMS is the backbone of any law firm, a complete tech stack may also include software for email management, customer management, payment processing, practice management, and much more.
On-premises systems are not designed to integrate with the number of different software applications needed for a functional, modern office. A cloud-based DMS is more likely designed to integrate with other systems, allowing attorneys and their firms to customize their tech stacks around the DMS.
To learn more about the benefits of moving to a cloud-based DMS like NetDocuments, watch the webinar, Do Great Work, Faster: Balancing Security + Usability When Selecting a DMS. Or, to explore how NetDocuments is providing the security and flexibility clients require from law firms, request a demo today.
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