These days, more law firms have members regularly working from offsite. While there are some benefits, it also presents significant challenges for maintaining productivity.
Forward-thinking firms are seeing this as an opportunity to leverage new and existing technologies to enhance productivity, deliver quality virtual services and to present an attractive workplace for top talent.
Here are four remote work essentials for the Distributed Firm:
1. Virtual Desktops
Without full access to all of their files, emails and software, your team can’t be 100% productive from outside of the office. In firms with onsite IT, too often, firm members have to commute in to restart a computer or to use software that doesn’t perform over the VPN or remote desktop connection.
Virtual desktops are an increasingly popular choice to replace remote access solutions that were designed before full-scale remote work. A virtual desktop is more than just a remote access solution: key advantages of virtual desktop are its superior user experience, advanced security, and software compatibility.
2. Remote Collaboration Software
Keeping up with team communications and facilitating effective collaboration is another challenge for the Distributed Firm
Before now, teams relied on email for internal back and forth exchanges, supplemented by in-person conversation. But office drop-ins aren’t as feasible these days and you may find email isn’t cutting it anymore, as its unstructured threads make it difficult to monitor and manage messages across many concurrent projects, and it lacks the organic discourse productive teams need.
MS Teams is a powerful tool that will bring your distributed team together in one central, online space, delivering critical capabilities such as instant matter context for conversations, video conferencing, screen sharing and collaborative document review, all of which contribute to productivity and quality of service.
3. Document Management Software
From reporting letters to contracts, to submissions, for most firms efficient document management is key to productivity. In the Distributed Firm, centralized access to documents is critical, as firm members work offsite and use a variety of different devices to access, edit, and store documents themselves.
Document management software provides an organized, searchable database for your documents. Firms can control, organize, and manage all information coherently, with employees able to access the documents they need from any location.
Document management software provides robust features such as high-speed content searching, OCR, automated versioning, and access controls. This software has nearly universal integration with legal software and extensive customization options, so it’s a powerful and safe option for law firms.
4. Private Cloud Hosted IT
With firm members regularly accessing your systems from outside the secure office network, IT management becomes more complex and risky. Private Cloud delivers critical capabilities such as high system availability, advanced security, business continuity and software compatibility, built into one platform that can be accessed in any location.
Moving to Private Cloud involves trading your onsite server room for virtualized systems, hosted on a provider’s enterprise-class equipment in a state-of-the-art data centre. Everything is owned and professionally managed by the provider – you won’t have to own, manage or upgrade your IT ever again.
All of the computing work takes place inside the data centre, which means no sensitive client data is transmitted to remote firm members’ devices. Software is also hosted in the data centre where it runs on high network speeds and can be accessed on almost any device. With Private Cloud, your provider can perform all IT management form offsite, completely eliminating the need for them, or you, to be in the office.
When working offsite, small performance issues are magnified, disrupting productivity and causing frustration.
Firms require a secure and reliable remote IT solution such as Private Cloud with virtual desktops. When outsourced to an experienced vendor, a Private Cloud enables firms to achieve a secure, seamless remote work experience, with all the tools they need to maintain productivity and deliver quality client service.