The ‘cloud’ refers to a theoretical place on the Internet where software and hardware is stored securely by an external provider (source: Explain The Stuff).
Rather than saving software and documents to a desktop or somewhere local to a business’ network e.g a shared drive, a third party will host them for you as a service. Your files can then be accessed over the internet through an online portal, which frees up storage and allows you to work more flexibly.
What does cloud computing look like? You may already be using it…
Google Drive: one of the most commonly used providers of B2B business cloud computing is Google Drive. It houses a number of Google-owned applications including spreadsheets, word processing, and file storage which can be accessed via most handheld and desktop devices.
Rather than being stored locally, the data from these apps is stored digitally in Google’s data centres.
Amazon: Amazon spearheaded cloud computing when they made the spare parts of their private data centres publicly available. (Source: Law Society)
How can it benefit your business?
- Reduces IT operating costs: the cost of owning and storing hard and software is kept to a minimum because data is stored in ‘the cloud’ which is serviced and protected by a provider, as opposed to paying for a tangible IT professional or product to do so.
- More flexibility: You can access your documents 24/7, wherever and whenever you’re connected to the internet
- Improved document back-up: your documents are much less likely to be lost, are easier to sync across devices, and are more straightforward to recover if the worst should happen
- Increased storage capacity: when data is stored remotely, it means no IT infrastructure is required and storage capacity can be limitless (depending on the provider)
What about your firm?
For some time now, the evolution of technology has been unstoppable. However, it’s not just Silicon Valley feeling benefits of the boom. A quiet technological revolution has also been taking place inside more traditional industries such as banking, law, insurance and consulting.
These historically sceptical, hesitant and resistant-to-change industries are jumping on the moving train of technology and understanding that it’s easier to keep up than catch up!
One example of a business that didn’t keep up is Nokia. Towards the end of 2007, almost half of all mobile phones across the world were made by Nokia. Five short years later, and Nokia was scraping less than 3% of the market share. (source: IoTLaw)
When Microsoft bought Nokia in 2014, CEO Stephen Elop admitted the following in his press announcement:
“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”
What went wrong so quickly?
It’s simple. While they continued producing the same standard of phones they had for decades, other manufacturers were upping their game, investing in research, innovation, and development.
Nokia stood still while other companies passed them by.
Don’t let the same thing happen to your firm. Regardless of your business’ size it’s important to keep up with the industry you’re in. Smaller firms still need to be able to offer the same level of service as larger firms, just on a smaller scale.
Law firms such as Co-operative Legal Services and Rocket Lawyer are already embracing cloud technologies and its benefits, like…(source: Law Gazette).
- Better synchronisation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services
- More flexible email and document access
- More opportunity for remote working
- Improved synchronisation of digital documents
If you’re struggling to move your firm online, or compete with the digital services offered by your competitors, get in contact via phone or email. A member of our senior team will be happy to chat about a custom strategy that’s right for your firm.