Recession Sends Lawyers Into the Clouds
For years, the legal profession lagged behind other industries in adopting cloud computing technologies, which encompass a range of services -- platforms, infrastructure and software -- delivered over the Internet, instead of residing on local computers. It's not clear whether lawyers stayed out of the clouds due to legitimate concerns about the security of these systems (after all, we lawyers have an ethical obligation to protect client confidentiality and safeguard these data) or because of the natural tendency to adhere to precedent and "the way it's always been done." For whatever reason, cloud computing made little headway within the legal industry -- until now.
According to MSP Mentor, the current downturn is forcing lawyers to outsource in order to trim costs, which has created an opening for cloud-based offerings. The article summarizes some of the cloud-related activity that's taken place over just the past two weeks, including Dublin, Ireland-based Servecentric's $1.36 million managed hosting deal with a U.S. law firm and California-based Legal Cloud's announcement of a virtual server beta program being tested by several international law firms. In addition, Azaleos which offers Sharepoint (a collaborative platform), had few legal customers just a few months ago, but in the most recent quarter claims to have gained ground among the larger mid-sized law firms up to “mega firms” with 1,000-plus attorneys.
In particular, large firms are most interested in outsourcing e-mail and in identifying "single-source" applications that can provide both e-mail services and archiving.
Are you or your firm using cloud computing? What kinds of law firm technologies are most likely to get cloudy, and which should remain firmly on the ground?
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 13, 2009 at 02:57 PM | Permalink
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