What is cloud computing and is it right for you? Legal Files explains
The world is changing, and cloud computing has become the norm for many organizations, including legal departments, law firms and related organizations. Although cloud-based programs and software have become more common, many people still have questions about them. As a result, if you’re wondering what cloud computing is or where the cloud is, you aren’t alone.
Technology is developing rapidly, which has led to some terms becoming part of our everyday lives without us really knowing what they mean. The Legal Files Software team has created a blog post that answers the most common questions about cloud computing as they relate to legal matter management. After reading this blog, you’ll understand the basics of cloud-based software and be able to determine what type of environment is right for your organization.
Answering the biggest question – What is cloud computing?
Before we dive into some details, we’re going to answer the question that sets the foundation for everything. What is cloud computing? This term refers to using the Internet to deliver computing services, including analytics, databases, networking, servers, software and storage. You may also hear cloud-based software be called browser-based. This is because it runs in an internet browser, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. However, they are not the same thing.
It may easier for you to think of “the cloud” as where your software and data are located, not as a specific software application. Although some computer software programs are only available in the cloud.
According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources (software), especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe shared data centers available to many users over the Internet.
The opposite of cloud software is “on-premise” software which is installed and runs on computers on the premises of organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility such as a cloud or server farm. Many government agencies and corporations prefer this option because of their security policies.
Both types have advantages and disadvantages.
That’s why a browser-based program, such as a Legal Files, gives you the option to choose the hosting environment you need or organization requires. Consequently, browser-based products can be hosted “in the cloud” or “on premise.”
Is Legal Files Software cloud-based?
The Legal Files program can be deployed as a cloud-based solution and has been cloud enabled for over a decade. As a reminder, Legal Files can also be deployed on premise. Allowing our customers to deploy in the environment that is right for them is of the utmost importance to us. This approach has allowed us to create an innovative and highly effective tool for legal case managment.
If you select Legal Files, you own a perpetual license. This is different than a subscription-based model because you don’t have to pay a monthly or per-user or per-document fee. People find that they like the Legal Files model because it offers a one-time cost, that is, once you license Legal Files, it is yours to use indefinitely. As a result, they don’t have to worry about rising software costs.
Where is the cloud?
This is an interesting question to answer because the cloud isn’t just one place. In fact, there are several different types, services and models of clouds, so you need to decide which one is best for your needs if you decide to go in that direction. Should you decide to host your software and data in the cloud, you’ll need to consider what type of cloud your services will be hosted on. Your options include: public, private or hybrid. It’s also a very good idea to ask where the cloud’s servers are located.
- A public cloud is owned and operated by a third-party known as a cloud service provider. This provider delivers resources like storage and servers using the Internet. An example of a public cloud is Amazon Web Services (AWS). When using a public cloud, the provider owns all hardware and software. You then pay to access and use these services through your Internet browser.
- A private cloud is one that a single business or organization owns and uses. If you’re interested in a private cloud, you can either physically store it in your organization’s onsite data center or pay a third-party service provider to host your private cloud. You will maintain your private cloud on a private network.
- A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private and public cloud because it shares data and applications between the two types of clouds. Some people view it as giving them “the best of both worlds.”
No matter what type of hosting sounds best for your organization, Legal Files can accommodate it. We created our application to work with all the clouds listed above, as well as on premise.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
The biggest benefit of a cloud-based program is that you don’t have own or manage computer servers or other computer equipment, or take care of backing up your data.
A program hosted in the cloud can also be accessed from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection. This allows you to work remotely from home, vacation, the courtroom or other locations. However, an on-premise solution can offer the same access if your organization’s policies permit it.
Cloud programs also tend to be faster than traditional programs that you can only access from specific computers. But, remember, access to that information and the speed at which is delivered is controlled by the cloud provider. Another valuable benefit is that cloud-based applications give you an option for disaster backup. No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario when it comes to their technology, but failures can happen. Without a backup, you could lose important data.
Some people still worry about the security of cloud computing. However, advances in technology and a growing number of reputable hosting providers have made this issue much less of a concern.
Closing thoughts on browser-based software
When it comes to matter management applications, remember the big question is whether to go to the cloud or stay on premise. If you decide to go to the cloud, then the question then becomes what type of cloud? network or on a hosting network like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Rackspace.
As technology continues to develop and grow, it will offer even more benefits and features for people seeking new ways to improve efficiency. Legal Files is always evolving and offering new options to make it even easier to manage what matters to you. If you’re curious about what’s on the horizon, feel free to reach out and learn more from our experienced team.