Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud-Based Divorce Settlement Software
Family law attorneys leverage technology to streamline their caseloads, improve the firm’s profitability, and give better service to their clients. As an attorney, you probably aren’t a computer expert so you may not understand exactly how a given technology will help your practice. Many divorce legal software products are available in cloud versions, but is that the right choice for you?
Benefits of Cloud Software
Traditional software is installed on your computer; cloud software exists on the internet and is only accessed by your computer. It’s kind of like the difference between reading a Word document saved on your PC and reading a web page. This flexibility gives cloud-based divorce software a number of advantages over traditional software:
- Windows And Mac Friendly – No matter what kind of computer you use — Windows, Mac or even Linux for the real computer geek lawyers — you can use the same cloud-based application. You can even mix different types of computers in your office.
- Not Dependent On Device – You aren’t limited to just desktops and laptops. Cloud-based software is usually accessible by any tablet or smartphone including iPad, iPhone, Galaxy and other mobile devices.
- Work From Anywhere – Since the software isn’t stored on a specific device, you aren’t chained to a particular computer. You can work anywhere you have internet access, which is a great help in divorce cases where you might have to access information in court or during a mediation session.
- No Computer Knowledge Needed – You simply log in and start working. You don’t need to install the software, deal with technical problems, download updates or worry about system compatibility. You are an attorney and you have better things to do than fight with stubborn computers.
Problems with Cloud Software
There are a few downsides to committing to cloud-based family law software.
- Internet Only – If you don’t have an internet connection then you can’t access your case files. Now that public Wi-Fi is pretty much everywhere, that’s not as much of a problem as it was, say, ten years ago. However if you work in a low-population rural area with low Wi-Fi penetration, you might be better off using a laptop with traditional software.
- Security – This both is and isn’t a problem. A well-designed cloud application is actually safer than a desktop application, since your office doesn’t have the security a professionally-managed data center does. Unfortunately, as in any booming business, there are providers who are doing sloppy work. Work only with trusted vendors who have been in the software business for a number of years.
So which is the better choice for your practice? There is no simple answer. Ask the legal practice management software company that developed the application you are considering. They can look at your particular case and determine whether traditional or cloud-based software would be better.