CloudHQ is one of the most popular data replication services, and many small businesses and professionals use cloudHQ for consolidation, collaboration and backup. It may sound complicated, but actually cloudHQ is VERY simple to use, and it's completely automated, so you can simply set it and forget it, and cloudHQ handles the rest. But what exactly does cloudHQ do? And how can cloudHQ help us lawyers be more efficient?
We are seeing an increase in the number of lawyers that are using cloud computing services in their practice. Some lawyers are sticking to services that are specifically made for the legal profession while others are using more general cloud services that can perform the same type of services. We are also seeing an increase in the number of lawyers who are working remotely or have legal aides and other workers who are using cloud services to work remotely. Lawyers must deal with a variety of tools including tools for time-tracking, billing, invoicing, electronic signatures, case management, client management, project management, document management, online data storage, data backup and more.
Success in the courtroom is usually based on the outcome of the case and how the attorney's client fares. But other factors can be used, such as an overall win-loss record, gross fees and other personal factors. A growing trend has shown that many of the most successful attorneys reach that level of success by using the latest technology to make their work easier, quicker and more efficient.
As iPads and other tablets have become for prevalent and widely-accepted in courtrooms everywhere, the technology-minded attorney is the most successful attorney. There are a variety of apps that have been created for the sole purpose of assisting attorneys in their work and helping them be more efficient. Rocket Matter and Clio are two of the most popular, but there are many other apps that help as well. Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, SkyDrive, SugarSync and more can be used to effectively complete tasks that are part of the standard attorney's practice.
While some attorneys get on the phone, set up meetings and make appointments, the tech-attorney is communicating with clients and legal sources through video messaging, collaborating over documents and files using Google Drive or Dropbox and setting appointments and taking notes through Evernote. While some attorneys are using multiple receptionists and legal aides to complete tasks, some attorneys are using Basecamp to handle all aspects of case management. While some attorneys are creating and printing documents, and setting up meetings with clients to sign them, other attorneys are communicating through video meetings, creating documents through Google Drive or Microsoft Office, sending the documents to the clients using Dropbox or Google Drive and having them legally sign the documents using Docusign. Can you imagine the time saved? The technology-minded attorney can. He can quickly create and complete contracts and move on to other more important aspects of the case. In many cases, time-management is critical and can severely impact the outcome of cases.
Many legal firms have even taken to creating their own apps, custom-tailored around their specific practice to more efficiently complete tasks without having to use a standard toolset. Other legal firms have recruited legal aides and allowed them to use a BYOD program, which enables them to use their personal mobile devices to accomplish tasks and do work remotely. This comes in extremely helpful when you use an employee that works on-call or as-needed.
The attorney who is more technologically sound in the courtroom usually is able to offer more persuasive presentations, illuminating evidence and is able to more clearly present facts and evidence to juries. The attorney who has the majority of his case stored in a single folder on his tablet will be able to more efficiently search and find documents and other information than an attorney with 100,000 pages of paper documents on his desk. Juries can be swayed by displays of ineptness by lawyers in the courtroom and a lawyer that is organized because of technology is more likely to avoid any such displays.
Some of the information contained in this article comes from an excerpt from the book 'Cloud Computing For Lawyers.' This book appears to be a great, informative knowledgebase for lawyers that have made the switch to the cloud, or lawyers that are considering making the switch to the cloud.
For lawyers that do not wish to store confidential data in the cloud, "this can be accomplished by using desktop or server-based software to handle confidential documents and data while offloading non-confidential tasks to the cloud." This way, the confidential data stays on your local servers while other not-so-sensitive data can be sent to the cloud to reduce storage consumption on your local servers. However, without a good backup plan, this can leave your confidential data at risk to be lost- fire, flood, stolen laptop, etc. Data that is stored in the cloud will not be affected by these happenings because the data is not stored on a local hard drive.
For lawyers that plan on storing confidential data in the cloud, third party services may be a necessity in order to completely safeguard and backup data in order to prevent unauthorized access or data loss. "Software as a Service' (SaaS) applications can be used to perform these security measures. The SaaS applications work in conjunction with the security measures that the cloud provider uses, and these are usually quite strong as well- such as SSL, 256-bit encrypted transfer and storage, two-step authentication, secure backup with restore features, and more.
There is a wide variety of cloud storage solutions and project management tools- such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, SugarSync, Basecamp, and Skydrive. There are also applications specifically made for use in law firms, but these programs can often be bloated and bogged down with too many unnecessary features that just get in the way. Each of the cloud services named above can be effectively used for case files, task management, storage, and much more. One way to get the most out of these applications is to use a service called cloudHQ, an extremely useful service that can provide sync between each of the cloud services (cloud services do not provide this option on their own) and it also provides a secure backup in case of accidental or malicious deletion or other causes of data loss.
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