Mobile, Cloud, Online: All Trending in ABA Survey

December 9, 2012

cloud imageEvery year the American Bar Association (ABA) publishes its Legal Technology Survey, and I like to compare it year-over-year.  The survey can tell me where small law firms have chosen to invest dollars, training time and technology implementation efforts—all of which help me and my colleagues at Thomson Reuters understand small firm needs.

This year, I was particularly intrigued that over one-quarter of attorneys in firms with fewer than ten attorneys use cloud-based solutions (also known as hosted solutions, online hosting, or software as a service/SaaS).  They indicate use online software for a variety of practice management applications like calendaring and matter management.  More firms have hosted solutions on the horizon as well, with 16% reporting they expect to adopt a cloud solution in the near future.

This coincides with an increase in the number of attorneys that operate mobilely all or part of the time.  Many percentages rose and shifted in this category, but what jumped out at me is that none of the ABA’s survey respondents work from a traditional or home office all of the time.  This is exciting as it means the practice of law can safely take place anytime, anywhere it is convenient.  New technology is truly driving efficiency.

More importantly, this trend demonstrates an increasing level of trust in technology providers to house secure, confidential data online.  Hosting data in a cloud is not without risk, so picking the right secure provider is an important decision.  Watch for more on private cloud secutiry later this month.

The ABA Legal Technology Survey also touches on legal research as well as drafting software, case management, knowledge management and more.  To uncover more facts and trends, the complete survey can be requested from the ABA.


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