A study by legal research firm LexisNexis earlier this year revealed that the amount of lawyers using cloud-based services for work is increasing, and lawyers as a whole are becoming more optimistic about the job-related benefits the cloud can bring.
According to the report, only 20 percent of lawyers were using cloud-based software for work in 2009. In 2014, almost 40 percent reported using the cloud. Within just the last year, the percent of lawyers utilizing the cloud has gone up 8 percent.
The study also found that more than 50 percent of lawyers were more likely to employ a cloud service this year than they were in 2013. Seventy-two percent of participating law firms reported that it was likely they would consider implementing cloud-based services this year, which might be responsible for the 40 percent of lawyers predicting the cloud will takeover firms within the next five years.
When asked to name the aspects of the cloud that were most beneficial to legal work, two services stood out. Over 45 percent of respondents said the increased mobility offered by the cloud was the greatest advantage, while 40 percent believed it to be the cloud's disaster recovery capabilities. According to the report, the top three services being utilized by lawyers are information storage, hosted exchange/email and data backup.
Cloud offers greater data security
The study also found that an obstacle in cloud adoption for lawyers is concern over ethical treatment of client data. Ownership of information stored in the cloud and positive control over that data was a top worry for respondents. According to Global Legal Post, law firms in the U.K. are actually finding that client data is safer in the cloud, as sensitive information can be easily removed if necessary, while still following compliance standards.
Firms that employ intelligent document capture software can extract information from paper records and store it in the cloud. During the capture process, personal data like credit card information and Social Security numbers can still be easily removed, protecting client privacy. An added bonus of the software is the reduction of paper it offers, and since a law firm of 100 employees can expect to use more than 2 million pieces of paper a year, the decrease comes in handy.