Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lawyers in The Cloud

My paper on cloud computing, Lawyers in the Cloud, A Cautionary Tale, from yesterday's Law Society of Upper Canada Teleseminar, Security For Lawyers in a Wired World, is now up at JD Supra.

Below is a brief excerpt from my conclusions:

The litany of security concerns, mishaps and challenges documented in this paper must militate against any overly-enthusiastic embrace of the Cloud by the legal profession – at least for now.

Practitioners, however, should resist any false sense of security arising from the limited protections represented by their current in-house, local systems and software.

In or out of the Cloud, personal security habits are the greatest predictor of information safety.

In spite of the significant threats discussed in this paper, the Cloud also offers added layers of protection for data, through redundant storage, automated security patches and upgrades, and overall reliability of access.

Such discussions aside, however, the bottom line, however, is that the Cloud’s time is – or will soon be - upon us.

If the legal profession’s history of tentative, but eventual adaptation of new technologies is any guide, we will slowly incorporate the Cloud into our practices. As the Cloud’s popular appeal increases and its track-record on security stabilizes, our clients will increasingly embrace these services and demand that we do so as well.

Even if nothing does last forever online, this next generation of services and tools has arrived.

Software as a service and the Cloud will increasingly tempt our profession with increased efficiencies, convenience and functionality. It is the trend to watch in our profession’s digital future, now just ahead.

And it will continue to be so - until the next ‘breakthrough,’ that is.

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