On-premise practice management

How does on-premise software compare to Clio? We’ve put together a side-by-side comparison to help you choose the best legal practice management software for your law firm.

Clio vs. on-premise




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Be on guard

On-premise software uptime varies. As these systems are physically on-site, they are vulnerable to physical risks like power outages, fires, or floods. As a result, uptime may be seriously affected.

Enjoy peace of mind

Clio offers a financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee

Remote access
Remote access

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Limited remote access

On-premise software ties users down to the physical server in their office. Remote access is only available through clunky, costly, and problem-ridden remote desktop apps.

Easy access from anywhere, anytime

As Clio is cloud-based, firms are able to connect from any device, anywhere—all you need is an internet connection! Clio has the best mobile app in the industry, available on both iOS and Android.

Ease of use
Ease of use

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Outdated and clunky

On-premise software are often legacy systems that haven’t kept up with today’s technology. Outdated workflows and technical limitations have firms struggling to keep up with modern demands.

Intuitive and easy-to-use

Clio’s intuitive interface and user experience allows customers to pick-up the program in no time. With a 4.5/5 ease of use rating on Capterra, many others agree too!

Total cost of ownership
Total cost of ownership

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Additional server, hardware, and maintenance costs

On-premise software requires that you pay a large sum upfront for new servers upon installation. Software update support is generally sold as an annual maintenance package. On-premise software also involves the need for IT support and maintenance. Overlooked expenses often include electricity costs and floor space taken.

We make sure your operating costs stay low

Clio is cloud-based so you’re not tied to a single location. The system can be accessed securely from any device, anywhere—all you need is an internet connection. The flexible, mobile infrastructure enables firms to work remotely and on-the-go. Clio offers a financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee, so you’ll always be able to get access to your work - even in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.


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Limited support and resources

On-premise software support is often complicated because every server set-up is a little different. Customer support has no control over a server glitching, breaking, or going down. Costly IT support is necessary to address these issues.

Comprehensive support and self-serve resources

Clio offers free unlimited support via phone, email, or live chat. Our award-winning team is available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. Clio offers an onboarding program, training, and an extensive library of self-serve articles, videos and webinars. Users are empowered to become proficient when it's convenient for them.


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Security becomes one more thing you need to worry about

On-premise software is only as secure as you can make it. Your client’s data is located in your office, making it your responsibility to prevent access to your data.

Dedicated security team with stringent policies in place

Clio understands the obligations firms have to uphold tight security standards when dealing with sensitive client data. Clio performs regular automatic backups and makes use of geo-redundant servers to protect from physical threats. Our dedicated cybersecurity team monitors the software around the clock.


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Manual updates that come with extra costs

On-premise software has to issue releases that need to be downloaded and manually installed. These are only available by paying an annual fee. Firms that forego updates often run into technical issues down the road. In some cases, firms may need to pay for all the updates they’ve missed.

Instantly get access to new features and updates

Clio regularly releases new features. You receive this added functionality automatically without disruption and at no extra cost.

Are you worried about migrating your data?

Switching is as easy as 1, 2, 3

Migrating data is never fun. However, on-premise software users switching to Clio get complementary assistance from our dedicated data migrations team. We make it easy for you to securely move your data.

  • 1 number

    Migration Consultation

    Start with a one-on-one meeting with your dedicated Customer Onboarding Specialist to discuss the process and timelines.

  • 2 number

    Data Export / Processing

    Our Migration Specialists will give you guidance on how best to export your data. They will then prepare your data to be imported to Clio.

  • 3 number

    Data Import / Review

    Once the import is complete, our Migration Specialists review the accuracy of your data and make sure you’re ready to get started with Clio!

Other ways Clio supports its customers

  • LTR 2023

    Industry-Leading Content

    Clio is your trusted resource for the latest ideas on running a more efficient, profitable law firm. We produce a variety of content ranging from blog posts and our annual Legal Trends Report to our in-depth webinars.

  • The Law Community

    Exclusive Community

    The Clio Community is an online platform where Clio customers come together to discuss important legal topics, learn how to better use Clio, and ask practice-area specific questions.

  • ClioCon 2024

    Annual Conference

    The Clio Cloud Conference is one of the most highly-anticipated and influential legal events. It attracts thousands of legal and technology leaders from across the world who want to learn, be inspired, and innovate.

See why over 150,000 lawyers have ditched their outdated on-premise software

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have a ton of data on my old system, how will the migration to Clio work?

Our Data Migrations team can assist in bringing over information from another practice management program to Clio, so that you don’t have to manually add the information to your Clio account. There is no extra cost to this service.

Clio provides visibility into the migration process before it starts through a consultation—so you know exactly what to expect. Read more here.

How much storage is available on Clio?

Clio offers free unlimited storage. You can upload an unlimited amount of files, contacts, photos, and more to Clio for no additional cost.

Is my data secure on Clio?

Clio safeguards the data of over 150,000 legal professionals—it’s our biggest responsibility. Unlike on-premise servers that require IT support, are open to physical threats, and need updates that are time-consuming to implement in-person, Clio has a dedicated security team. With experts working around the clock, Clio is constantly monitored and updated automatically.

With on-premise solutions, the burden of security falls squarely on you. Your client’s data is stored in your office, making it easier for anyone to access your data.

Is there an accounting feature in Clio?

Clio offers full legal and trust accounting software. One of the advantages of using Clio’s accounting software is that it is built to provide trust accounting functions that are easy to manage and maintain. Read more here.

What information does Clio sync with QuickBooks?

Clio’s legal accounting software syncs contacts, bills, time entries, expenses, and payments to QuickBooks. Learn more here.

What is the duration of the contract?

Clio offers the flexibility of both monthly and annual subscriptions, with no multi-year locked-in contracts. It’s easy to change licenses as needed when adding or switching users.

How much time will the installation take?

Clio does not require any installation.