Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: John Walsh, Liz McMillan, Mehdi Daoudi, Kevin Jackson, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Top Five Technology Trends That Will Change the Legal Industry [#Cloud]

Technology is quickly becoming an influential member of the practice

From the way legal teams prepare for trial to how they communicate with clients and other professionals, technology is quickly becoming an influential member of the practice. However, even in today's technology-driven world, not all firms can label themselves tech savvy. To help those firms integrate technology into their businesses, this article explores the top five technology trends presented by the American Bar Association's 2013 Tech Report to keep an eye on for the future of successful law firms and professionals.

Mobile Usage on the Rise: With 79 percent of small firms using smartphones for work purposes, and 45 percent using tablets, the recent mobility explosion has caused exponential growth in mobile usage in the legal industry. Mobile usage allows lawyers to be...well, mobile. With everything attorneys need from calendars to documents to emails at the tips of their fingers (or bottoms of their pockets), these devices now allow them to work on anything, anytime, anywhere.

Additionally, mobile devices are changing the way lawyers work on each case from start to finish. As Dallas-based lawyer Tom Mighell says in a 2013 Illinois Bar Journal article, "You can do client intake on an iPad and take notes on it when you're meeting, tally deadlines, review documents, review and take depositions, review transcripts, conduct jury selections [and] you have access to a number of trial presentation apps to help you present evidence in the courtroom." In other words, everything you need to be a successful lawyer can now live in the palm of your hand.

However, as mobile usage continues to grow in both large and small firms, so do the security concerns that surround each device, so make sure to establish mobile device security polices that determine how mobile devices can and should be used in the workplace.

Cloud Computing Set to Increase: Law firms are now gravitating toward cloud computing because it gives them the ability to access information and communicate anywhere, anytime - an advantage in a profession that requires employees to work outside of the office. In fact, 29 percent of solo and small firms reported using cloud computing, and nearly 15 percent of firms with more than 500 attorneys have reported utilizing some form of cloud computing as well. Law firms find the cloud beneficial because it doesn't require a large capital investment in hardware and infrastructure. However, security challenges regarding the cloud should always be top of mind for businesses.

Online Research Made Easy: In the past, lawyers had to physically spend hours in libraries conducting research; today is a completely different story. With many print resources going digital and the availability of e-books, more legal research can be conducted online - saving employees a significant amount of time.

Social Media: Networking has always been a big part of the legal profession, but the availability of numerous online communication channels will change the way attorneys connect with each other and with clients. Additionally, social media outlets act as free marketing tools, allowing small and large firms to spread the word out about their businesses to a larger audience, potentially bringing in more clients.

Additionally, courtroom coverage via social media and blogs will also change the legal industry, allowing attorneys and the public to follow trials online.

Data Protection and Business Continuity Planning: As technology use increases, so, too, does the need for data protection and business continuity planning. Law firms handle massive amounts of sensitive data, and any breach or loss of access can set a firm up for disaster. New technologies for Disaster Recovery, also called Recovery-as-a-Service, will help law firms implement a business continuity strategy with minimum complexity and time commitment. This gives firms peace of mind, while ensuring that valuable data and applications are protected and that employees can continue working even in face of an IT outage or natural disaster.

What do these trends mean for your legal practice? Attorneys must educate themselves about how to secure data, thwart security threats and avoid practice interruption in case a disaster strikes.  While technology provides great opportunities for the legal profession, it also brings risks that must be dealt with in order for firms to stay in compliance and maintain their business.

We've seen firsthand the impact that application downtime, be it due to a virus, a computer crash or a natural disaster, have on firms that are not fully prepared. As you look at the technology trends for law firms and plan your IT budget accordingly, make sure you also follow these five simple steps to ensure your staff will remain productive, even if there is an event that could potentially disrupt your technology environment:

  1. Create a disaster recovery plan: This could be as simple as a listing of all critical phone numbers and the contact information of all employees together with key processes to be followed in case the office needs to be evacuated.
  2. Protect your critical data: Running out of the office with tape backups or hard drives under your arm because the sprinklers suddenly came alive is not good protection. Implement a data protection solution that securely stores your data off-site.
  3. Ensure application continuity: Look for a solution that allows your employees to continue accessing key applications like your case management system, financials and CRM even if your office is unavailable.
  4. Test frequently: Ensure your disaster recovery procedures are current and actually work by testing them at least quarterly. Involve different areas of the company and test not only steps for restoring data, but for application and server virtualization as well.
  5. Make disaster recovery a priority: To ensure proper procedures and solutions will be implemented, make sure that disaster recovery is a top priority by partners and other senior staff. The cost of application downtime, which impacts billable hours and completing projects on time, is so great that making DR a priority should be top of mind.

As you begin using technology as an integral part of your practice, now is a good time to put your IT house in order and take proactive and preemptive steps towards avoiding practice interruption.

More Stories By Todd Scallan

Todd Scallan is the vice president of product and engineering at Axcient, where he is responsible for leading the development team and driving product for the Axcient platform. He has over 25 years of experience in a variety of senior-level product management, engineering and business development roles at companies including Interwoven, Segue Software and Black & White Software (acquired by Segue Software). Todd holds an MS in computing engineering, a BS in electrical engineering and has published numerous articles and papers on a range of computing topics.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...