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 Factors of Cloud-based Data Backup and Recovery to Consider for Legal Industry Professionals

Advances in technology, most notably cloud-based services, are changing how companies do business.  The legal industry, though not early adopters of cloud-based data backup and recovery applications, are now rapidly “coming up to speed”.  Included below are several questions to consider for moving the legal industry to the cloud:

  • Does the vendor offer a free trial period or demo to test out the interface and functionality?  What training options are available for new users of these products?

  • What are the monthly costs for a SaaS program?  Are there any incidental costs for the SaaS solution, like data backup or support?  What are the costs for an all-in-one cloud-based backup and recovery solution?

  • What type of support is included with the monthly subscription?  Does the vendor require a contractual agreement to maintain service for a certain length of time?

  • What is the history of the vendor? Who are their clients? Do they endorse and recommend the vendor’s services?

  • How does the cost of the SaaS solution compare over a two or three year period to the cost of a comparable traditional software license?

  • How does the cost of the SaaS solution compare over traditional backup and recovery methods dependent on hardware?

  • What features of traditional software or hardware solutions do you use most frequently and are they available in the SaaS/Cloud-based product?

  • How often are new features added? How often are new version updates released?  Is the vendor open to user feedback regarding changes and new features?

  • Approximately, how many attorneys/law firms are currently using these products?

  • What are the terms of the vendor’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees response time to customer service and/or technical support requests?

  • How does the vendor safeguard private and confidential information in the cloud?  How often is the user's data backed up?  Does the vendor backup data in multiple data centers in different geographic locations to safeguard against natural disaster?

  • How often do I need to access my legal software outside of the office? What steps do we take to insure that data is protected regardless of where it is being accessed and used? Home, office, end-point devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.)?

  • How does the vendor's Terms of Service or Service Level Agreement address confidentiality and security? If needed, will the vendor be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement?  

  • Are the cloud-based products compatible with my preferred platform/device/web browser?

  • What are the threats to business continuity unique to my situation? How can the vendor address all business continuity concerns?

  • Does the vendor’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantee a certain level of service (e.g. uptime, accessibility, etc.)?

  • Are any other relevant guarantees or disclaimers of liability included in the vendor's Terms of Service (TOS)?

  • In the event of cancellation or termination of service, how will I get my data? Will the data be supplied in a non-proprietary format that is compatible with other software?

Most reputable vendors will easily address all of these questions and more. Cloud-based offerings bring scalable, cost-effective solutions to clients of virtually any industry. Legal professionals can confidently embrace cloud-based backup and recovery solutions when service providers are mindful of the needs of clients unique to this industry.


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