Digging into Survey: #CloudComputing Applications

So far, we’ve looked at mobile device preferences, and desktop application results. This year saw more state bar associations issue ethics opinions in favor of cloud computing, and it stands to reason more lawyers will continue to adopt cloud-based applications in their practices in 2013. So let’s take a look at the results for cloud-based applications. In 2010, the list was short and simple:

In 2011, it grew:

No additional cloud-based applications were added for 2012. The results, however, show cloud-based practice management taking off.

Clio showed an increase, while HoudiniEsq and Rocket Matter fell, but the total percentage of lawyers using cloud-based practice management applications actually rose from 23.41% in 2011 to 26.68% in 2012. One conclusion is that more lawyers are comfortable putting their practices in the cloud. Another is that cloud-based applications are tools of the trade today rather than of the future. 

An interesting thing to note is what is considered to be a cloud-based application. Evernote is cloud-based and has a desktop application, but it is only listed as a desktop application. Dropbox has a desktop application but it is only listed as a cloud-based application. So perhaps it is not the use of cloud-based applications that of a note anymore, but what is considered a cloud-based application. Or are Dropbox and Evernote the start of hybrid applications, ones that reside on all devices instead of just in the cloud or on a desktop?

Will 2013 see movement away from drawing distinctions between “desktop” and “cloud-based” applications, and towards which applications work best for lawyers and law firms? Will the platform still matter?