When COVID-19 forced law firms to operate remotely last year, few had a plan to make the move from office to home. Yours might have been one of them. There’s no shame in that. Who could have anticipated a global pandemic?
Now it’s 2021 and we’ve been working remotely for nearly a year. With vaccines rolling out, there’s light at the end of that tunnel. But the rollout has been slow, and there’s still plenty of tunnel ahead. Let’s be honest, learning how to manage the new work-from-home environment has been tough.
But we have been learning. And one of the big lessons firms learned in 2020 was that they needed technology to enable a seamless transition from working in the office to working from home. As Warren Hua, a member of the Management Committee in charge of IT at JunHe LLP law firm’s Beijing head office, explained, “having a good IT system has been the lifeblood of our firm.” A Thomson Reuters white paper, Head for the cloud in a storm: Maintaining your firm’s business continuity during a crisis, details how cloud-based technologies can provide that smooth move.
And there’s something else many firms have discovered: Cloud computing has actually made them stronger, more agile, and more productive – despite being outside the office. How? Let’s look at some of the ways.
Access to critical tools
One thing that became painfully clear during the pandemic was the limitations of web-based solutions. With everyone working from home, accessing on-premises solutions simply wasn’t an option. Sure, web-based tools are helpful when you’re not in the office. But they don’t always provide all the capabilities you need.
That’s an area where the cloud shines. The best cloud-based tools can provide something much closer to a full-feature experience. What’s more, they often include other capabilities that add more value.
Improved client experience
The cloud lets you respond to client requests wherever you are – and wherever your client is. You can access the crucial information your client needs without being either in the office or at home. Providing sound answers in a timely manner results in stronger relationships and more loyal clients.
Clients and prospects in a wide range of industries are exploring and using cloud-based solutions for their own businesses. That makes it increasingly likely that clients will choose legal counsel that also uses the cloud for document sharing, communication, and other tasks.
Working together – better
Think of all the ways your firm requires shared effort – budgeting and planning, case strategy, document drafting, and review, to name just a few. And while we’re all working at home, we still all have to work together. That will always be the case, wherever we work.
Cloud-based tools allow you to collaborate in a fluid work environment. You can share documents with staffers and clients wherever you are and wherever they are. These tools also let everyone work from a single document. That keeps everyone literally on the same page without having to worry about mixed-up versions and questions like, “who had that last?”
Taken together, the cloud’s capabilities can create a more efficient and productive firm. Those benefits can also make the move back to the office easier too. From streamlining workflows to enabling superior client service, the cloud can make a firm more profitable. It also gives attorneys and staffers the ability to operate in a more fluid work environment – at the office, at home, on the road, at the client’s office, or at a coffee shop meeting. The cloud, in other words, is a solid investment.
Download the white paper to learn more about the cloud’s benefits and the impact it can have on every aspect of your firm’s business. We’ll talk more about how cloud-based legal tech can provide a solid foundation for your practice in our next post.