Cloud software for law firms is absolutely critical to business continuity, now more than ever. Earlier this month, I shared the top signs that it’s time to upgrade your law firm’s law practice management software. In case you missed it, here are a few surefire indications that your law firm’s software is due for an upgrade:
- You’re cobbling together several systems instead of one
- You still have endless stacks of paper around your office
- Your software looks like it was designed in the ’90s (and probably was!)
- You still have to maintain a server (probably located in your office’s closet) to run your software
- Support for your law practice management software has been discontinued
- Your software doesn’t leverage new technologies such as online billing and instant credit card payments
- Your software doesn’t have automatic updates that include new features.
If a few of these apply to your law firm, rest assured, you’re not alone! According to the latest ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, more law firms than ever are making the move from premise-based software to cloud computing legal software. Some have already done so, and others plan to do so this year.
For starters, according to the Report, 55% of lawyers surveyed have used cloud-computing software for law-related tasks over the past year, up from 38% in 2016. Interestingly, and in keeping with last year’s trends, more lawyers may be using cloud computing than is evidenced by their self-reporting regarding cloud computing use. I suggest this because 75% of lawyers surveyed reported that they’d downloaded the Dropbox app in the past year, which would seem to indicate that a good percentage of lawyers are using a cloud computing tool – Dropbox – but may not understand that the data stored in Dropbox is, in fact, stored in the cloud. These stats alone show that cloud software for law firms is an important part of doing business.
Another trend of note from this year’s Report is that those many of the lawyers who are not yet using cloud computing will likely do so in the near future. According to the Report, in 2019, a good number of law firms are planning to replace premise-based legal software with a cloud-based alternative. 10% of lawyers overall indicated that was the case (notably 43% weren’t sure what their firm’s plans were). Of the firms that planned to make this move, small law firms with 2-9 lawyers led the way at 15%. Next up was law firms with 10-49 lawyers at 14%, followed by firms with 50-99 lawyers at 13%, then firms with 100-499 lawyers at 12%, and coming in last was solos at 6%.
There were many reasons offered for switching. This isn’t surprising because cloud software for law firms offers a host of benefits. The top reason cited was the ease of access from any location (68%), followed by 24/7 availability (59%), and the affordability and the low cost of entry (48%). Other reasons provided by the lawyers surveyed included robust data back-up and recovery (46%), the ability to get the software up and running quickly (40%), the elimination of IT and software management requirements (34%), and last but certainly not least, better security than the firms were able to provide in-office (31%).
And last but not least, respondents were asked which cloud-based software providers their firms used. Of the 20 cloud-based software companies that received votes, only 9 legal software companies received a sufficient number to make the cut. Can you guess one of the companies that made the top 3? If your guess was MyCase, then you guessed right!
So if you’re law firm is still using premise-based legal software, what are you waiting for? Your current legal software is wasting time and money for your law firm. There’s no better time than the present to switch to cloud-based legal practice management software.
Cloud software for law firms is no fad or trend, it’s the future, and the future is now. Not sure where to start? Then download our FREE guide: “The Definitive Guide to Choosing Law Practice Management Software.” And don’t forget to watch the FREE recording of one of our recent webinars, where lawyer and law practice management expert Heidi Alexander explains how to know when it’s time to move your law practice to the cloud.