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Should I use Cloud for document automation?

18-01-2022

If I start using Draftomat, where will you store my data?

This is a question that we are often asked by potential clients. Further talks on this subject reveal general scepticism towards cloud technology among lawyers. This scepticism was apparent in business practices of law firms even in a highly developed market such as US, where, according to 2016[1] data, only 38% of firms used cloud. Things have apparently changed, mainly because of remote working prompted by Covid-19. ILTA's 2021 Technology survey[2] shows that 41% of firms accept cloud with every new software they adopt, 24% say they mostly use cloud, while 7% are still not comfortable with cloud.  

The stats reveal progress, but the talks we have daily with lawyers in the SEE region, give away general reluctance towards storing data on cloud. As always with innovation, rejection comes from the lack of information. Although Draftomat can be used both in cloud and on premise, we encourage users to experience benefits of cloud described in this article.

Data security tops the users' list of concerns. Potential cloud users should know that the main cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon or Google operate under security standards that are unmatched on the market. These security standards involve both physical and cyber security of the data centres where cloud servers are located.

Data centres are in a highly protected physical environment. To put it simply, the data centres look like the most secured prisons. Physical barriers prevent unauthorized personnel from entering, while the construction protects servers from floods, earthquakes, fires, power failures and similar catastrophises. On top of that, data is constantly backed up on multiple locations. For instance, if a user's data is primarily stored in a data centre in the Netherlands, there is a copy of that data in the data centres located in Ireland, Sweden, and Italy. That way, if one server fails, user's data can be retrieved from another location.

Data is encrypted and only the cloud user has the encryption key. This means that even cloud provider is not able to access users' data. On top of that, cloud servers are constantly monitored by cyber security experts to prevent cyber-attacks.

These highest security standards can be hardly achieved by any individual law firm that stores data on its own machines on premise. It all comes down to costs of setting up and maintaining the infrastructure, which is an expense that even the biggest global law firms are not willing to bear alone. Therefore, big players in the legal market tend to move their data to cloud where they essentially share maintenance costs with other cloud users, while benefiting from the best security standards.

Once we acknowledge that cloud technology is safe and cost effective, we can move on to discuss how it improves the quality of our business.

Easy access to data is an obvious benefit, especially with remote working. Users can access data from any place at any time, using multiple devices. They are also able to easily share documents and collaborate live on a single document or on multiple documents. This also means better control over actions that users take with organization's documents and files.

Cloud offers scalability. Users can easily decrease or increase cloud storage space depending on the size of their business or a single project. A simple request to a cloud provider is all that is required, without making expensive investments in infrastructure.

Besides regular maintenance, cloud providers also perform regular upgrades of the cloud technology and the accompanying software. Therefore, an organization using cloud does not have to invest in upgrade of server technology. That is an obligation of a cloud provider, which is usually defined in a service contract.

To conclude, cloud technology has become a paramount aspect of a successful business. We expect lawyers to become less sceptic towards cloud technology because of the market standards and clients' expectations. However, we are aware that the change of business practices takes time. Therefore, the clients of Draftomat can use our software on premise and in cloud. Draftomat infrastructure is located on Microsoft Azure servers which are known for superb data security and outstanding user experience.

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/financial-advisory/articles/the-case-for-disruptive-technology-in-the-legal-profession.html

 

[2] https://www.iltanet.org/resources/publications/surveys/2021tsparticipate

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