legal IT | 24 March, 2021

A web-based future: is the legal sector ready?

Web-based (or SaaS) applications are finally gaining significant traction in the legal sector. More and more firms are beginning to appreciate the flexibility it can give them, especially in a climate where remote working is becoming the norm across the industry. However, while a web-based approach delivers substantial benefits, there are also some challenges that must be navigated. 

This is because, while moving to web-based applications may create efficiencies in some areas of your IT strategy, they cannot entirely remove the need for a centralised IT function. Over the years, many law firms have opted for a Cloud Desktop solution to provide this centralised approach to IT management. So by stripping it back, many firms may find themselves with these six common challenges:

1: Securing data. Under a Cloud Desktop model, all corporate data resides in a single location, but when a web-based approach is implemented, this will no longer be the case. While the data of individual applications may be in the cloud, sensitive information and files can still be stored directly on the laptops and PCs of individual users. If you’re looking to take a web-based approach, It’s essential that policies can be enforced across your entire estate that ensure devices are fully protected against unauthorised access.

2: Software roll-out and updates. While web-based applications can incorporate many of the day-to-day duties within law firms, there will still be a need to use third-party applications (e.g. Adobe, Laserforms, dictation software, etc.). A system must be put in place to easily roll these applications out to all remote users, and to deliver updates to those users as required. Without this, roll-outs and updates will have to be conducted on individual devices manually, which is expensive and time-consuming.

3: Mobile device management. More remote working means more use of laptops and other mobile devices by users, and therefore means more applications, data and user set-ups will be stored locally on devices. Minimising business disruption when users switch devices, or swap older devices for newer ones, is a vital part of supporting efficiency and delivering stress-free experiences to the workforce, and still needs to be a key consideration when adopting web-based apps.

4: Securing web traffic. All traffic in a Cloud Desktop environment goes through both a central cloud platform and a central corporate firewall. Within cloud-based applications, on the other hand, data is sent and received directly from a laptop or other user device. Without a central firewall in place, an alternative needs to be found in order to keep traffic secure.

5: Print management. Even the most digitally savvy legal firm will still need to print out physical documents, and any web-based deployment will still need a print server to manage these demands. This issue can be solved in a number of different ways; the make-up of your workforce, your office/remote working model and your print needs should help you determine which is best for you.

6: Legacy and non-core data. Some data is more sensitive than others, but all of it needs to be hosted securely. From a legal firm perspective, the ‘non-core’ data principally means data not directly related to cases or accounts, or legacy data from past activity. Storing this data securely is a key consideration for those adopting web-based applications.

How can Oosha help

Taking all of the above factors into account and shaping a web-based deployment that ticks all the boxes can be complex - and unexpectedly expensive - without the right solutions and expertise to guide the way. That’s why we’ve launched our Managed Desktop and Device service, which enables an efficient and secure move towards web-based applications.

The new service takes care of all the key factors, including managing and supporting local devices, data storage and control, multi-factor authentication, network connectivity, and other important considerations that are often overlooked.

Learn more about Oosha’s Managed Desktop and Device service and how it can enable a seamless and secure web-based future for your firm.

Posted by Liam Stainer

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