You may have heard the concept of ‘cloud-based computing’ or ‘cloud-based application’ being used for some time now. You’d be forgiven for not knowing too much about what this entails, however, because a coherent definition in laymen’s terms can be elusive. ‘Cloud’ is simply a nickname for the Internet, and so the term lends itself to vague, broad definitions often composed of tech-speak.
Despite the nebulous, hazy imagery of drifting puffs of fluff conjured, the hard-hitting stats of cost-reduction cannot be ignored. A recent survey from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that by using cloud-based applications, most small-to-medium businesses are able to lower costs by up to 20%.
So once the fogs lifts and the mist clears regarding what cloud-based applications are doing for businesses all over the globe, consider how your law-firm too can benefit from this kind of easy to use system.
A cloud-based application is simply an online service a business can use to streamline office-related tasks. This service automates many of the mundane administrative tasks that are essential, but time-consuming and labour intensive. Tasks like those which have to do with HR, client relationship management, accounting, document management, service centre, contracts and more.
Some of the other benefits include:
• reducing IT operational costs by outsourcing to the cloud provider;
• being user-friendly in that the client need not ever download programs, run maintenance or install updates;
• top security being a high priority, with intensive firewalls, multi-location backups and disaster recovery systems;
• instantaneous accessibility from anywhere at any time for authorised personnel;
• elimination of paper-based filing;
• reduced processing time for each task;
• and improved manageability and easy maintenance for the IT department.
One cloud provider that can cater for law firms is Trivaeo, a UK-based web service, which has clients across the globe, including South Africa. While we’re not endorsing their service, it does seem to be worth a close look as their clients testify to their services as a “game-changer”. Trivaeo provides six different business applications, which handle and integrate workflow for over 50 different customisable admin tasks. Law firms can tailor these applications to suit their particular requirements – and mercifully this requires no technical knowledge.
In this day and age where we all need to gain competitive advantage, using a cloud-based application may just be the thing that separates you from your competitors. This is not only a matter of saving a substantial amount of money (which is of course always a worthy matter), but of freeing up valuable time, effort and resources, which can then be reinvested back into your firm.