The “as-a-service” market seems to be an ever-expanding field. Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and Platform-as-a-Service options are all common choices for organizations to power their enterprise systems.
Now, desktops-as-a-service, or DaaS, is the newest in the line of as-a-service offerings. It’s a way to deliver virtual apps and desktops throughout your organization to any device and any organization. This is a safe, reliable, secure way to share SaaS and older legacy applications, and can even grant employees throughout your workforce access to full, Windows-based virtual desktops. And it’s gaining in popularity, expected to reach $10.7 billion by the year 2023.
Generally, DaaS is a smart solution for many different kinds of companies—especially to provide employees the opportunity to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic—but why is it such a wise choice for law firms? What makes it an ideal way to power your practice? We’re taking a look at how DaaS is well-suited to your legal work.
With DaaS, your team can work from anywhere and on any device. Since your desktop is hosted in the cloud, what you end up with is a secure option to log into your firm from anywhere.
When your firm subscribes to a DaaS platform, you can provide all of your employees the same user experience whether they’re working in the office, spending the day in court or mediation, or working remotely from home.
Another reason many firms choose to use a DaaS structure is that it gives their employees the option to work on any device of their choosing. If they want to work from a PC, Mac, or mobile device? As long as the device meets the necessary display resolution requirements, the user’s actual desktop environment will be identical, regardless of the device they use, making a DaaS solution not just accessible in any location, but on any computer too.
Does it sometimes feel like within your firm, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing? A DaaS infrastructure removes these communication barriers by keeping everyone up-to-date.
With a DaaS solution, all data related to a case is managed and stored from a single, central location. Circumstances of a case change and evolve from meeting to meeting and hearing to hearing and new defenses have to be devised, and it’s best if everyone is in-the-know about all of these changes.
One of the biggest advantages of working with a DaaS system is that any update regarding a case happens from a centralized location. All other members and firm officials within your legal team are privy to the latest information, which means your entire team can work efficiently using the most accurate case data.
Sensitivity and Security
One of the many reasons that law firms are choosing DaaS solutions more frequently is because of their security. In terms of building a solid reputation as a reliable firm, maintaining attorney-client privilege is everything. Cybersecurity is also your duty as part of the American Bar Association.
Without a DaaS, your firm might spend a great deal of time, money, and manpower into creating firewalls, antivirus security, and other security controls, but all of this means nothing if your records leave the office on a personal device or a flash drive.
However, when you employ DaaS, this just isn’t possible. Your firm’s data is all stored in your cloud-based data center, not on the device itself. This also means if a device is lost or stolen, your data remains secure. And if an attorney or paralegal leaves your practice, their DaaS account is disabled—they have no way to take records of any kind with them. It removes much of the risk and offers great flexibility in its place.
Meet Stringent Data Store and Access Compliances
Security and confidentiality are crucial for legal firms, but to add to this, each state has its own set of data store guidelines for organizations to stay compliant and keep data protected. Especially at smaller firms, there are limited resources with which to pursue all of the details about remaining compliant in the way you share and store data.
Some systems are manual and have no way to manage compliance, but with a DaaS system, you can manage and automate compliance so there’s never a question about whether or not you’re meeting expectations. Even in enterprise data storage, where compliance regulations get more complicated with each passing year, these systems can keep you in check. Data storage can be costly and complicated, but a DaaS solution can help you stay compliant with these laws.
Since different kinds of data have different lengths of required retention, this can become complicated unless you have a DaaS system to streamline and automate your storage processes. Additionally, you can easily control who gets access to each part of your solution. Rather than grant your entire firm access to your whole system, a DaaS solution can manage and organize who has access to which files, and keep them protected.
Easy, Secure Access to Distributive Files
DaaS systems provide a secure channel to access distributed files from anywhere. With secure document review solutions, law firms and legal departments can quickly access data during the investigation process to optimize litigation outcomes. Using a Desktop-as-a-Service solution helps to address the essential document review needs of your legal team.
With a DaaS solution, you can grant your employees access to the data they need, from anywhere. File-sharing solutions give your firm the power you need to work from any device, enabling permissions to keep confidential information secure. It’s never been easier to protect client information while boosting productivity than with a DaaS solution that allows secure file sharing.
Lawyers need to be able to work on the go. They may have to meet with clients and update them on recent developments in their case on-premises and access vital case-related information from anywhere. DaaS can make that happen.
Within your firm, your needs can change from moment to moment. During peak seasons, when staffing temporary workers, while handling mergers or acquisitions, or when deploying new branch offices, you may need more storage and more processing power; you need a highly-scalable platform.
DaaS systems give you the capability to rapidly scale up the power of your applications and the number desktops, then reign things in when you no longer need them. This is a great cost-saving measure, as you won’t be paying for servers and storage infrastructures when you don’t need them.
A DaaS system is cloud-based. That means you can scale on-demand with a DaaS system, and never overload your system or pay for too much storage again.
Comparing DaaS to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Does DaaS sound a little like a virtual desktop infrastructure? If this thought has crossed your mind, you’re not wrong. There are some key differences between the two methodologies, though.
Unlike a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which deploys virtual desktops from on-premises data centers, DaaS is a cloud-based infrastructure. While a VDI must be managed by in-house IT teams, and you have to purchase, maintain, and upgrade the infrastructure yourself, DaaS eliminated the need for so much in-house upkeep.
While you get very similar services with a DaaS solution compared to a VDI, you don’t have to manage any of your own hardware; it’s all done for you and all you have to do is enjoy the benefits of a virtual desktop without any of the maintenance, hardware, or headaches.
Avoid the Challenges of Law Productivity App Implementation and Integration Bottlenecks
Sometimes, when law firms try to develop their own VDI or other software solution, they only think so far ahead. They can’t imagine how much their needs will grow and change. When this happens, it can place all kinds of stresses on their system, creating bottlenecks and bogging down the software.
When you use a DaaS solution, you not only get access to secure systems that are accessible anywhere, but you also gain access to an entire team of IT experts who are there to ensure your system is always running smoothly.
Also? They can help with integrating your law-specific productivity applications. Whereas some law firms don’t have the sophisticated IT teams to integrate these apps smoothly, your DaaS team can make it happen. They’ll deftly handle any implementation or compatibility issues that arise for you.
Artificial Intelligence and Legal Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) and the legal system should go hand in hand. As stated in a recent Forbes article,
“More than any technology before it, artificial intelligence will transform the practice of law in dramatic ways... The law is in many ways particularly conducive to the application of AI and machine learning. Machine learning and law operate according to strikingly similar principles: they both look to historical examples in order to infer rules to apply to new situations.”
Legal precedent plays an important role in our system of law, sometimes even impacting the outcome of an entire case. Unless everyone on your legal team has a photographic memory, there’s a countless amount of case law to pour through for nearly every case, searching for legal precedent.
But with DaaS, this process can be a simpler one. Since you gain access to cloud-computing technology when you employ DaaS, you can upload tens of thousands of existing and decided cases in your central database.
With the power of AI and big data on your side, you can implement algorithms to identify correlations between the circumstances of your new cases with existing precedent to identify similar cases that are relevant to the current case in question, making your research process much more efficient.
In short? Nearly every aspect of your firm’s operations can be simpler, faster, and easier with a DaaS solution. For secure access anywhere and enhanced processes from end to end, the clear answer is a Desktop-as-a-Service infrastructure.
Want to learn more about how a DaaS solution can help you? Contact us today!