|Thursday, 06 January 2011 00:00|
Smallbusinesscomputing.com asks "Was 2010 was the year small business IT took the cloud computing plunge?"
While their answer was a decidedly equivocal "Yes and no," as you read the article, you get the idea the answer is "Yes," at least in the sense that cloud computing is here to stay and so ingrained in our daily computer lives that we are using it seamlessly:
"People might not understand what cloud is," he said. "But they are using it. They're using in their private life. In some cases they're using it in their work life. But they might not necessarily identify it with the term cloud."
I know a lot of lawyers have concerns about cloud computing services, not the least because of confidentiality concerns. But there are so many ways that it makes life, business, and a law practice so much more efficient that I can't imagine we won't see more and more use of it.
Take for example a cloud computing service I am finding indispensable: Dropbox which I have praised in the past. It is a cloud-based storage service - sort of a virtual hard drive. It appears on each of your computers and mobile devices as a folder. The folder automatically syncs with Dropbox so that you access to the updated versions of your documents from anywhere where you have Internet access. Any document I'm working on goes into Dropbox. That way I have one central place that I can store the master document rather than wondering which version of the document on which computer is the most recent. This alone will save a multitude of drafting errors and time spent verifying versions. This is a fantastic tool for lawyers, but it is only possible through cloud computing.
So, with Apple and Microsoft moving their Office Suites online in response to Google Docs, with the proliferation of cloud email services like Gmail, with even running servers in the cloud through Amazon EC2, cloud computing is here and it is how business is going to be increasingly done. That means, it is how law is going to move too. It makes sense. It is safe (or at least as safe as your physical office with remains your prime data security risk). It offers convenience and efficiencies. It is, simply put, the next logical step and, indeed, most of us are already making use of it.
- Peter H. Berge