Hosted Or Web-Based Legal Practice Management Solutions — Which Is Right For Your Firm?
Not sure which practice management software configuration is the right choice for your law firm? Check out our guide below to help you make an informed decision.
Despite what you may assume, hosted and web-based software solutions are not the same thing.
The way you access your law firm’s practice management software can have a significant effect on the quality of the user experience, and the features available to you. That is why you need to choose the right one for your purposes.
To help you do so, let’s start by defining our terms…
What Is Web-Based Software?
While both of these models are essentially “offsite” configurations for software delivery, they are not the same thing.
“Web-based” refers to any software, apps, or other tools you access in a web browser. That means you don’t need to install any software, store any data locally, or manage the updates directly.
Web-based legal solutions include:
- Rocket Matter
- Practice Panther
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Web-Based Practice Management Software?
- Rapid Deployment: Web-based solutions are very easy to configure and launch. Generally, all you need to do is sign up for a plan, set up your users, and you’re ready to go.
- Easy To Use: Web-based solutions are lightweight and agile, making them easy to understand and get a hang of.
- Low Cost: Given their simple design and limited features, web-based applications are generally less expensive than their hosted and on-premise counterparts.
- Limited Functionality: The downside of web-based solutions’ simplicity is that they lack more robust features and capabilities.
- Limited Integration: Web-based solutions are unlikely to offer the capability to centralize data and processes. Despite being used for firm management, they won’t be able to comprehensively integrate your files, data, and users.
What Is Hosted Software?
This term refers to cloud-based desktop solutions. Essentially, the software that you would normally have to host locally on your own servers can instead be hosted by a third-party cloud services provider in their data center.
Hosted legal solutions include:
- Time Matters
- Tabs3 / PracticeMaster
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hosted Practice Management Software?
- Extensive Features: Hosted software solutions have more resources to work with, which allows them to provide a much more extensive suite of features.
- More Choices: Given the popularity of this type of software, there are more robust and competitive options for your firm to choose from.
- Cloud-Based Management: Hosted software solutions give you the capability to manage your firm from end to end in the cloud. A comprehensive range of options makes it easy to oversee all tasks, processes, and more from a single management solution.
- Higher Cost: When compared to web-based alternatives, hosted software solutions will likely be more expensive, given that you’re paying for more robust capabilities.
- Dependence On Your Cloud Provider: No matter how good your solution of choice is, its availability, responsiveness and maintenance will depend on your cloud provider. Legal software is rather specialized, so, without the right expertise, your cloud provider may not be able to optimize it for your purposes.
Which Option Right For Your Firm?
While we can’t make this decision for your firm, we can provide general guidelines to help with your decision:
- Web-based practice management software is suitable for solo and very small firms. Any organization that has more than four users will likely require more robust capabilities.
- Hosted practice management software is ideal for medium-sized and larger firms that require centralized management of their data, cases, users, and more.
The Key To Choosing The Right Legal Software
Given how large and important the legal industry is, the need for constantly improving technology is so considerable, and there’s no end of options available to you.
Allow TLC Tech to help you figure out which is right for you. We have extensive experience working with clients in the legal industry and are familiar with each of the above-listed firm management solutions.