Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2010

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 35 of 111

replaced a desktop-based solution with a cloud-based one, we were able to remove that software from our users’ desktops, which resulted in one less add-in and fewer potential errors or crashes. NAVIGATING A NEW WORLD The reduction in errors and crashes represented only part of the advantages of the cloud. Tasks that once required 50 percent of a computer’s processing power now only required a fraction of that with the cloud; the only CPU-based processing that occurred was a simple data transfer as the user pushed a file to the Web. And, better yet, we improved collaboration with our associates across the globe. Our colleagues in Abu Dhabi could communicate and share documents and applications with those from Raleigh to Beijing with the simple click of a button, an experience that cut down on many of the issues we and other global law firms had faced for decades. By 2012, we were beginning to see the benefits of the flattened world we’d all been waiting for. Our desktops were integration-free, the majority of our processing requirements occurred on external servers and our fee earners were able to conduct business anywhere, anytime and with anyone — from their offices, in an airport lounge, at their homes and even from their mobile phones. In 2010, the firm’s technology staff spent more than three- quarters of their time providing support to end users, helping them manage errors, integrations and product upgrades. By 2012, they spent no more than a tenth of their time doing that. The rest of their time was spent working on strategic new solutions that directly related to increasing productivity. THE CLOUD-GROUND BALANCE PERFECTED But not everything was perfect in the cloud. While early adopters did flock to cloud solutions, others held back. First, and most important, there was the issue of user adoption. Many users were not used to the processes cloud software required, such as visiting a website, logging in, and uploading and downloading documents. They were used to a very different workflow. Additionally, while security risks were managed well in the cloud, user perception of that risk slowed the adoption process. Some of those that did access the cloud were excited, but others did so with misgivings. The typical legal computer user produces elaborate documents, and workflow in the cloud proved too different for some. Ultimately, what fee earners and legal IT professionals wanted were solutions that combined the advantages of cloud computing with methods that mimicked traditional workflow processes to increase productivity and make our users more competitive in a very challenging environment. Finally, in 2012, we started to see some of the smarter providers innovate to offer hybrid solutions, where technology was located in the cloud, but access to that technology was not delegated to a user visiting a website, logging in and uploading material to manage. Low CPU- consuming and minimally sized portable communicators placed on desktop computers enabled full access to the cloud when online (and partial access when not connected to the Web), giving users the functionality and aesthetics of a desktop application experience and the full benefits of a cloud solution. BETTER SOLUTIONS, BETTER LAWYERS In 2020, we all know these hybrid solutions well. These integration-free portable applications opened the door to the cloud and made the adoption process smoother. They enabled an environment where applications opened faster and with fewer errors and crashes. Users began to notice a savings of 10 to 15 minutes a day, as well as full access to “anytime, anywhere computing” that still supported the workflow they were used to. These hybrid solutions now fuel the ways we create, store and manage our documents and other knowledge base materials. They power our searches and our archives. They are ubiquitous and have started powering the productivity gains our users need. Some colleagues were slow to adopt the cloud and these hybrid solutions. Today they are feeling the pinch. Unlike them, we have found the balance between technology and usability, which has delivered the optimal environment for our fee earners to deliver quality and effective legal solutions in a reasonable and cost-conscious manner. This is something our clients respect and value. Anytime, anywhere computing is now a reality. These hybrid solutions, today’s standard of technology, ensure that legal professionals can keep their heads in the clouds while their feet are planted securely on the ground. ILTA Name............................ Sean Scott Company ...Womble Carlyle Sandridge Rice, PLLC Number of Attorneys ...................... 500 Number of Offices ..........................11 Name...................... Deepak Massand Company ......................... Litéra Corp. Peer to Peer the quarterly magazine of ILTA 37

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