At times there are little milestones along the way that I think any technologists looks at and says, wow, that really signals a change.
While our existing customers have bought into our vision of next-generation technology, I will at times unfortunately find myself in conversations (and I use that term loosely) with legal technology types who are skeptics, doubters, nay sayers of cloud computing and the impact of SaaS on legal technology.
So I found the fact that the City of Los Angeles approved the outsourcing of it’s email system to Google one of these milestone events. Its a story and an analogy I’m sure I will use a lot in the coming weeks.
- It’s a great deal. $7.25 Million for handling all of the applications, storage and uptime of 30,000 employees. That’s right, thirty-thousand! There are law firms who have spent a million dollars on getting a dozen custodians’ email in order, much less the email for 30,000 people.
- It was a unanimous vote. Unanimous. Besides a resolution congratulating the Lakers for their championship season, what else could the LA City Council possible totally agree on? Apparently, the benefits of cloud computing.
- Law enforcement is going to use it. So much for security concerns. And no one has said there isn’t work to be done, but the clear take away is this. There is no security compromise by using cloud computing. None, nada, zippo, zilch. Far from it. When someone uses security as the reason to not explore cloud computing, I know I’m talking to someone who either doesn’t understand the technology or is concerned about losing their job/budget because of it.
- They got it right. The City of Los Angeles is going to spend less money, get better applications and uptime, and securely manage their email for 30,000 people by outsourcing it, freeing resources to run a city — not run servers.
So what questions does this bring up for law firms?
- Is your law firm playing catch-up technologically with the City of Los Angeles?
- Are your law firm partners not as technology savvy as the LA City Councilpeople?
- Are your security concerns greater than those of the LA Police Department?
- Why isn’t your firm outsourcing more technology and continuing to invest in legacy technology?
- Will it take the acute pain of an critical failure or the slow erosion of business to the competition to force your firm to change its ways?
If the LA City Council can get it, so can a law firm.