Many changes are afoot within the legal profession, some interpret them as modernizing others call them necessities that have long been ignored or just plain “why change something if it works” culture. What is clear is that changes are now happening at a tremendous pace in many areas of Law practices. Information and protection thereof is at the center of these changes
A Sound Solution
Acquiring Network Attached Storage (NAS) for law offices enhances profitability. If your legal practice hasn’t gone this route, and you have less than fifty on staff, the numbers recommend you transition. Through cloud computing and a NAS solution, you can comprehensively and securely store, manage, access, and augment legal documents as necessary, expediting cases while maintaining higher levels of security than physical file storage or simple on-site/cloud options could provide. Utilizing both cloud computing and on-site storage facilitates comprehensive security that is simultaneously cutting edge.
A Closer Look
To understand how Network Attached Storage (NAS) for law offices is a game changer, we must start at the single document level. If you’re still a primarily “paper” firm, you’re losing tens of thousands of dollars. Say you’re a small office with thirty on-staff. Say each staffer generates 1,000 pages in terms of documents monthly–33 a day. That ends up being over 360,000 pages annually. Quite a bit! Compounding the issue is accessibility that is necessary for six-to-ten years.
Ten years changes 360,000+ documents to 3,600,000+ documents. At $3 per 400-paper ream, that’s $27k just in paper alone! Not to mention ink and printing costs, as well as the associated space expense–you might need your own storage facility! And the files will have to be stored in a way that is easy to peruse as necessary, and on top of that, secure against invasion, theft, or negligence.
In contrast, a digital option saves time and money in storage space, categorization, organization, production, and retrieval. Your average Word .doc is going to be 300 kilobytes–318 at a 3,500 file average per gigabyte; a gigabyte being 1,056 megabytes. A 318-kilobyte document is about 350 double-spaced, 12-point font pages averaging around 250 words apiece–approximately 90k words. This is around 1,225,000 pages per gigabyte. If you’re savvy enough about storage, you can store 3.6 million pages on a 40-gig thumb drive over ten times!
Imagine your legal firm produces a hundred times the above hypothetical number of documents annually–again, that’s not impossible; though it would mean each of the thirty people on your firm generated an average of 3,000+ pages daily. Well, it would still only be about 300 gigabytes, depending on file-size. You’re still able to contain all that information in a single location, on one server.
Safeguarding Cloud Options For Greatest Utility And Security
For file storage and management to be practical in court, in varying offices, and traveling as today’s attorneys must, you can’t have everything in a single location that doesn’t have broad access. Wireless hard drives and thumb-drives are now available. In court, information can be pooled and managed instantaneously between legal teams. Conferring with a wireless hard drive from the home office connected to WiFi simplifies everything. Provided proper access protocols and drive encryption to accompany this system, a few tablets and other technological accouterments save tens of thousands in rent, storage, time, and physical document production. That said, there does need to be some level of redundancy in terms of security surfeiting such a situation–which is where cloud computing comes in; though it has its own idiosyncrasies.
Cloud computing works, but there are outages. If you check the Wikipedia page for Microsoft Azure, in the outages section you’ll find about one per year–but always for different reasons. For example, in 2012, after four years’ operation, a leap-year miscalculation caused an outage. That bug was swiftly fixed, and as of 2018 hasn’t resurfaced.
Though cloud computing through top-tier providers like Microsoft is cost-effective and professionally managed, incidents still occur. For this reason, as a legal firm, you need to have some kind of cloud computing backup solution in order to totally secure sensitive documents.
Network Attached Storage Solutions
This is where Network Attached Storage (NAS) for law offices comes in. Basically, these servers can be acquired for under $5k, plugged in, and left to perpetually operate. Their internal hard drives operate from RAID design, meaning data’s holographically spread between them. Should one drive “resign”, it can simply be replaced with another and no data loss absorbed. For around $3,200, you can pick up an eight-bay server with eight hard drives (QNAP TS-873U-RP-8G 8-Bay NAS) that each store eight terabytes. A terabyte is 1,056 gigabytes.
Using Network Attached Storage (NAS) for law offices incorporating around 30 on staff provides you more than enough storage in the event your cloud storage malfunctions, or is otherwise compromised. Coupling such a NAS with your cloud can secure your files–just ensure to keep it in a locked room that safeguards the server under armored protection.
With such a solution you can save time and money while maintaining even greater security in operations. Especially for smaller practices, going the NAS route is strategically viable.