Posts Tagged ‘mobile device’

As the “The Collapse of the Microsoft-Intel Monopoly” continues to accelerate, the response from the both the broader legal technology profession as well as the eDiscovery chattering classes has been what I can only describe as a collective yawn.

But that’s not completely surprising – after all, the the legal profession is characterized by it’s insistence on staying mired in the same technology swamp. And as such, it’s only today these organizations are getting around to examining their ongoing investment to find a replacement for Windows-reliant applications like Summation or Concordance. These warhorses have not been working for quite a while and are requiring ever increasing expenditures to keep running.

But this analysis is not coming easily. What is an easy call – supporting multiple operating systems and mobile – is being met in many instances by a deep state of denial that extends deeply into the purchasing decisions of large organizations. While we are seeing our users are moving rapidly away from WinTel based laptops and toward a variety of mobile and tablet devices, including Apple products, most of these organizations express little enthusiasm for supporting them.

This, by the way, is the opposite of the trend we see occurring in the small to midsize organizations, who are more nimble and adapting to their users preferences more readily.

So as we talk to law firms looking for a replacement for Concordance or Summation, future-proofing the emerging platforms should be of paramount interest, right?

These should be first questions in a RFP for a replacement Summation or Concordance. “Does your software support users in non-Windows environments? Do you plan on supporting iPads, Android devices, mobile computing platforms and Apple products generally? Can you support any browser besides Internet Explorer, which now controls less than a third of the overall marketshare?”

Legal IT needs to recognize the dislocation, and match it’s buying strategy to the way its users work. It’s not too late to match the needs and motivations of internal litigation support and IT departments with the needs of their users.

It’s time to ditch, in Silicon Valley speak, concerns orthagonal to the needs of their users. Based on this graph, is there any rational response from a law firm IT department other than to immediately cease any further capital or operational investment in technology not designed to support emerging platforms?

It isn’t rational to justify a purchasing decision that ignores 50 percent of the computing devices in the marketplace? It is not possible to develop a business case for spending capital expenditures on software that only works on a WinTel laptop. Yet it continues to happen today – is this state of denial sustainable?

Of course not. It never is. But now is the time to make the change, before falling off this Window/Intel cliff.


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Nextpoint "Expert Witness" Post

Nextpoint’s Expert Witness is a new feature here on the Frank blog, offering insights from lawyers, technologists, law enforcement, entrepreneurs, and other interesting people influencing our industry and world. Check back regularly for thought-provoking and in-depth conversations.

Lawyer Tom Mighell is probably best known for his blog inter-alia, which he describes as a collection of his “favorite technology topics, as well as the latest in law practice management tips, tricks and resources – among other things.” More recently, the iPad has become the focus of his technology obsession, which has spawned the site iPad 4 Lawyers, and his books iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and  iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association. Readers may also be familiar with the Mighell Marker Newsletter, which he helped publish for 10 years, or the The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a legal technology podcast from the Legal Talk Network. Tom’s current day job is Senior Consultant with Contoural, Inc., where he deals with records management, electronic discovery, and litigation readiness issues.

Nextpoint is clearly on board with the iPad, since all of our applications are optimized for the device. But we wanted to talk to Tom about why tech-savvy lawyers are falling in love with the iPad. He’s also picked up a few tips to help lawyers and others get the most out of their devices.

iPad in One Hour

Nextpoint: Why did you write your books iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers?

Tom Mighell: Two reasons. I wanted to provide lawyers with a way to get up to speed quick on using an iPad. iPad in One Hour for Lawyers provides the basics that lawyers need to know to be able to get their iPad set up and start using it, all in a little more than an hour. The second book I wrote as a response to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of apps available in Apple’s App Store. There are somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 apps made especially for the iPad, and busy lawyers don’t have time to sort through all of them and figure out which apps are best. iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers provides a curated collection of the best apps for lawyers in different categories – Productivity, Legal-Specific, News and Reading, Reference and Research, Travel, and Utilities.

The iPad is commonly thought of as device for casual users. Why are you excited about it is a tool to make lawyers more productive in practicing the law?

I’ll challenge the first sentence of your question, and modify it to, “the iPad was once thought of as a device for casual users.”  There are probably some out there who still look on the iPad only for playing Angry Birds, surfing the web, or reading a book, but many lawyers are now recognizing the value of the iPad as a productivity tool. In fact, I myself was skeptical at first that the iPad could help me in my work – but the apps that are currently available for iPad users can help lawyers do a lot of the things they already do with laptop or desktop computers: take notes, draft and revise documents, and review caselaw or other documents they deal with in cases or transactional matters. (more…)

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Law Technology News recently featured a great article by technology editor Sean Doherty called “Bring Your Own Device to the Law Firm,  identifying a set of principles Cardinal Health uses to allow users to work on their own devices. These are guidelines every law firm, corporate legal department, and government office can use to devise a policy today that addresses the inevitable consumerization of IT, a development we’ve been talking about for almost four years.
Consumer Devices in Law Firms
First, why is this happening?
  • Users are demanding it as they stampede to smartphones and tablets.
  • The cost savings are enormous. Cardinal estimates $8 million in savings. Now we’re talking.
  • The gains in employee productivity are enormous.
  • The gains in security are also enormous as the signs are everywhere that existing security perimeters – especially in law firms – are porous at best.

Based on the Cardinal Health model, I’m going to layout how Nextpoint services meet the good design principles they used to custom build a solution.

If you’re an organization the size of Cardinal Health, this becomes a priority in your revenue generating businesses. But my sense from talking to our clients – both in-house counsel and also technology departments at law firms – is that it was going to be a difficult road to get funding for a custom built solution.

In other words, time to go to the cloud!

Downloading and saving data on the devices is prohibited

Laptops with privileged content on them probably represent the single greatest security threat.  And I have heard anecdotally from dozens of lawyers about a computer lost at an airport or lost by a shipper that was never recovered.

A substantial amount of development has gone into making our platform purely cloud-based. There is no controller, no need to save data locally to look at a document or spreadsheet. Does it require some additional storage – yes, we image every file on intake. But this means our clients have the security of knowing that the data is not brought local unless it absolutely has to be. This design also has the added bonus of working on any type of device your user brings into the organization.


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Having been involved in trial support for more than a decade, we know that chaos and last-minute revisions are often part of litigation. We’ve also seen a lot of complicated and convoluted solutions for managing trial evidence on site come and go over the years. That’s why we think litigators everywhere should love Trial Cloud on the iPad.

Like the rest of the legal profession, litigators are struggling to deal with the explosion of data in litigation. Trial evidence is rarely something a lawyer can easily work with on the road, not just because of the volumes involved, but because of the security risk involved in carrying around a laptop full of trial evidence. As we’ve documented, it’s just not wise to carry highly confidential information on hard-drives or printed out in briefcases. Nextpoint’s answer is simple- make the same trial support platform you’d access on a desktop available on the iPad. (more…)

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