During a pretrial conference this week, a federal magistrate reminded both sides to preserve all digital evidence, which got me thinking about the cloud computing and my paperless law office. If you still use paper files, what happens if your office goes up in flames?

Although there are privacy concerns with cloud computing, switching to a paperless office makes it easy to have a reliable backup.

Going paperless saves money

Storing paper files takes up space and space tends to cost money. Not only are you paying for space itself, there are utility payments, costs for giant file cabinets, and perhaps paying staff to look after the storage spaces.

If you go paperless and use a digital backup, the hard drive should occupy less than a cubic foot. Spending a couple hundred bucks on a nice external drive is a lot cheaper than renting storage space.

Going paperless makes it easy to backup your files

Going paperless will not only save money, it might save your tail. If you keep paper files, do you have backups? What would happen if your office caught fire? Even if you you do not use a cloud backup, you can still easily create a digital backup on an external hard drive.

Hopefully, you store an external drive in another secure location—which protects you from an office fire wiping out everything. You can also purchase fireproof external drives that claim to be just like aircraft black boxes. They cost more than a regular external drive, but a quick search revealed that fireproof drives are available for under $300—well worth the peace of mind.

If you do use cloud storage, your files should be securely stored (and backed up) in more than once location. Either way, backing up files should be a breeze for a paperless office.

(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanghaidaddy/1547549511)