Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Preparing Your Law Firm for Technology Innovations

Is your law firm ready to face a legal case?  Can you prove that your clients are not deliberately concealing anything from the court?  Do you have the proper procedures in place to establish transparency of transaction with your clients? 

These are all critical questions that you must be ready to answer regardless what type of law firm you are.  So what should you do to be prepared for the technological innovations?

Retention Policy

What is your retention policy?  Does this have anything to do with your clients?  Retention policy basically defines the practices of your law firm in preserving documents, email messages, and other transactions that go through your cloud computing servers daily. 

It must state the specific timeframe that messages or documents should be stored.  This also helps to give you flexibility when you have limited storage.  How long should your files remain in your cloud computing servers?  At least six years is the suggested timeframe, but this can vary depending on how your law firm handles cases.

The Regulations

To make sure that your law firm keeps out of hot water, the best practice is to be updated on the laws that cover digital storing.  This may be local or the contract between you and cloud computing provider, it does not matter, the important thing is that you are aware what the law requires from your specific business. 

It may sound funny reminding a law firm to be updated on laws, but, a lot can be missed during the transition to new technology.  For example, is your firm prepared to accept technology innovation in cloud computing?  Then you must abide by the data retention policies of the sensitive data storing standard. 

This will help you cope with government regulations as well as observing pertinent customer privacy laws to keep your firm out of legal cases.

Reliable Systems

What use would be a perfectly written retention policy or knowledge of the regulations if you do not have a reliable system to back it up?  Many law firms think that it would be easier to get by with cheap systems, unfortunately, what they do not understand is that having reliable systems is a sign of professionalism. 

This is because it is beneficial to the everyday operation of your law firm and allows you to justify in court that you are taking every precaution to protect your client’s data and keep everything legitimate.

Reliable systems do not only allow you to stay online 99.9% of the time, it also gives you the ability to immediately get back online when disaster strikes.  Therefore, disaster recovery strategies are part of reliable systems to deliver business continuity. 

This means that your cloud computing provider should guarantee you maximum uptimes with a contingency for load balancing as well as failover scenarios.  This is something that you should see in your Service Level Agreement (SLA).

There is so much more valuable to the ability to minimize crashes and downtime with cloud computing.  It will give your law firm long-term growth through client retention and trust.  This is something that only a reliable and efficient cloud computing system can provide.

Personnel Education

Education should cover all of your law employees, not just those handling IT work.  It is important that everybody understands the consequences of communication in a digital age.  As the leading resource of your law firm, it is important that they are aware of their legal responsibilities and the potentials for legal discovery.  This includes ensuring emails are easily located, monitoring of system performance, and reliable backup procedures.

Helping educate your personnel on the requirements of the law can save your firm from a lot of legal scrutiny and tremendous headaches.  This investment in their education should not be costly because of the availability of many online courses should there be no one in your pool of lawyers to educate them on this.

Are your employees aware why you give more protection in saving documents and communication?  This is equally important because they may find themselves before a judge to establish whether files are being intentionally protected or not. 

Understanding the importance of cloud computing compliance should be emphasized on all employees of the business.  There is no question that there has to be a lot learned during the transition to new technology.

If you want to be better prepared for the consequences of a legal battle, one of the best ways is to have a reliable provider to back you up. NexStep  is one of the leaders in the implementation of management-free technology that makes it easier for law firms to prepare for technological innovations. 

Contact Keycom to get the benefits of cloud computing for your law practice, you can easily remote computing your law firms anywhere as long as there in internet connections.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trends in Bathroom Plumbing

If you are looking to install a whirlpool jet tub in your bathroom, you might want to reconsider. The Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL) is reporting that bathroom plumbing design trends have been changing since the real-estate bubble in 2008. Luxury bathrooms set the trend for all other bathroom plumbing designs and the trends are shifting away from whirlpool jet tubs and bidets.

Shifting Trends in Bathroom Styles

The report from HIRL state that whirlpool tub installation has fallen nearly 10 percent in the last six years. Bidet installations have dropped almost 35 percent during the same time period. These numbers reflect the changes that have been happening to luxury homes as homeowners are reconsidering their expenses as well as the sizes of their homes. Along with changes in the bathrooms, even the square footage of luxury homes has changed, as the size dropped nearly 150 square feet. Since an average bathroom is about 100 square feet, the extra bathroom is often one of the first rooms to go when designing new homes.

Spa-Like Bathrooms for Daily Luxury

The latest trends involve making the master suite a place of refuge. Instead of adding guest rooms, extra bathrooms, or other extras, homeowners are deciding to make their home their castles instead of someone else’s occasional hotel. Since whirlpool tubs are used so infrequently and can be difficult to clean, the latest bathroom trends are moving to deep soaking tubs and special shower stalls.

Contemporary Design Trumping Ornate Style

Even the ornate decor that tends to define luxury living is changing. Homeowners are looking more towards contemporary and transitional design styles. Instead of adding tchotchkes and
busy trims, bathrooms are being loaded with computerized control systems, heated floors with heated lamps, and hot shower stalls that can be used as steam showers. These plumbing choices are enjoyed on a daily basis and can make the home feel like a spa.

Dreamy Showers in Extra-Large Sizes

Showers are going big. Luxury home builders are installing dream showers that include a variety of details that can only be put in extra-large showers. The details include shower heads and body sprays that hit the body in several places. The other big trend includes adding two shower heads so he and she can use the shower at the same time. Along with these details, the controls for the showers are moved into the shower via waterproof touchpads. The his-and-her showers often have two entrances because they are so large. While younger homeowners are enjoying their extra-large showers, older homeowners are asking their plumbers to install separate showers, but still with the bells and whistles.

Reusing Water for Sustainability

Another popular trend is to reuse water. While no one wants to shower or brush their teeth with gray water, this reused water can be used in the toilet. New trends in bathroom plumbing fixtures allow shower water and hand-washing water to be sent directly to the toilet. This might not seem as luxurious as a heated floor, but the idea of saving water each time you flush the toilet is quite appealing. As these sustainable plumbing fixtures appear more often in luxury home magazines and design studios, they will become more popular with the middle class homeowners, who tend to add luxury products as they become less expensive.

Environmentally Friendly Bath Fixtures

Environmentally safe bathroom fixtures are also gaining ground. While luxury homeowners are installing keypads for shower controls, those who still want traditional fixtures are able to add them without having to worry about lead. Popular brass fixtures that once contained lead no longer do. Even low-flow toilets are working better and using less water, as little as 1.2 gallons for every flush.

When you are looking for the latest trends in plumbing for a new build or a remodel, give Scott English Plumbing a call at 714-987-9801 or 949-462-9773.