Cloud Coverage

With Labor day nearly upon us, solos and small firms everywhere are readying themselves for the hectic pace of fall, and looking for new practice tools to help them hit the ground running. For those back-to-work shoppers who find themselves puzzling over the merits of practicing in “the Cloud”, several recent articles do an excellent job of presenting the important considerations and benefits of selecting a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution:

Resonating with our earlier discussions on security, privacy and data availability, Niki Black published an informative article on the Lawyerist that addresses many of the commonly expressed concerns over data security and privacy in “the Cloud”. In it, Niki recommends that lawyers “resist the urge to overreact to emerging technologies”, referring to a 2008 NY State Bar Ethics Committee conclusion dealing with email confidentiality that found no objection to the inclusion of context-driven advertising provided there was no material departure from conventional privacy policies. Niki’s full article on the Lawyerist can be found here.

Those seeking a great executive tutorial of what to look for in a SaaS product, should check out Mazyar Hedayat’s article titled INFRASTRUCTURE: In The Cloud which was featured in the September issue of Law Technology News. The article provides a succinct educational overview of the critical criteria worth considering before committing to any SaaS solution, and does a thorough job of presenting the many excellent alternatives available on the market. Check it out here. The article also features Clio as a “SaaS” case study:

The growth of leading provider Clio typifies the penetration of SaaS in the market. Like other leaders in this space Clio features calendaring, tasks, trust accounting, and document storage. The company has also enabled online payment via PayPal as well as secure client collaboration and a desktop billing widget. Clio may also be looking into self-directed (“automatic”) billing.

Mobile warriors may also be interested to read Chris McKinney’s balanced analysis of the pros and cons of adopting a SaaS solution for practices that demand a great deal of accessibility. His article, Cloud Computing for Mobile Lawyers, was recently published on Law.com and covers topics of frequent concern such as cost, mobility, collaboration, security and offline access. Chris’ practical and fair analysis makes the article a worthwhile read for anyone curious about what SaaS has to offer. The full article is available here.