Today, a busy Personal Injury law firm is not defined by the number of attorneys or paralegals it has, but by the amount of information it consumes and processes on a day-to-day basis.
Issues such as malicious attacks, data breaches and ransomware attacks are very real and tangible threats that can not only jeopardize the day-to-day operations of your law firm, but also cause irreversible reputational damage.
Unfortunately, despite the heavy reliance on data, many busy Personal Injury firms still run on legacy technology often marketed as the “Cloud”.
What is a “True Cloud”? I think I am already hosted in the “Cloud”?
Be extremely wary of buzzwords like “Hosted”, “Hybrid” and “Online”, as these are often used by legacy systems to create the perception of the “Cloud”.
A true cloud platform is designed and built from the ground up for today’s cloud environments. They are built using a multitude of underlying technologies and managed services, sort of like a portfolio of building blocks, collectively called the “Tech Stack”. Legacy systems designed in the ’90s have a rather monolithic architecture that makes them more vulnerable to malicious code written today. So how big is the generation gap between the two technologies? Well, the short answer is, the same as that between Pac-Man Arcade and Fortnite Season 11!
The underlying code (“Codebase”) of a “True Cloud” software uses today’s cutting-edge technologies and best practices. In addition to utilizing state of the art infrastructure, these platforms also ensure that the way their code is written adheres to today’s best practices for data security and privacy; in other words, they are coded to ensure “Application Level Security.”
True Cloud platforms are “Multi-Tenant”, meaning all users go to one place to access the system for their specific secure data. Take for example Gmail, we all go to the same site, use our credentials and see our individualized data. Why is this important to you? Because when Gmail upgrades its systems, all users get it at the same time. Similarly, when Gmail is safeguarding or recovering data, it is seamless and instantaneous for all users. If you are on one of those “hosted” solutions, then upgrades, data backups and data recovery have to be run in triage; in the event of contingency, you should be prepared to wait for your turn in the pecking order to get back in business.
True Cloud platforms are run and managed by sophisticated cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, who collectively own the largest share of the global cloud market. These industry leaders have invested billions in developing expertise, security infrastructure, disaster recovery contingencies, data backup plans and Geo-Redundancy (multiple mirror locations) that any “regional data center”, “local IT provider” or a “hosted case management provider” simply cannot match.
Most importantly, these platforms are developed by Software Engineering and Product Development teams of engineers who have a proven track record and experience building large scale technology systems. Would you seek legal advice from an Engineer? No, then why would you seek technical advice from an Attorney?
To Conclude: Cloud platforms are more secure, period! Legacy systems coded in the ’90s cannot be retrofitted for today’s Cloud. The physical proximity of a server in your office managed by that familiar IT guy may give you a false sense of security. However, local talent and support will never be able to keep up with the likes of Microsoft or Amazon. If you are a forward-looking law firm who views cutting edge technology as a growth strategy and as a competitive advantage over your late adopter peers, you must evaluate upgrading to a “True Cloud” platform today!