ALM's Law Technology News today published an exclusive report on the adoption of cloud computing, documenting that 74 percent of large law firms used hosted cloud services in 2012, up from 65 percent a year ago.
"Forecast: Cloudy," the cover story of the December 2012 issue of the magazine, explores the surge in use of cloud computing by major law firms, but also identifies that heavy adoption has so far been primarily limited to cost-intensive functions such as electronic discovery and firm business operations. The story reveals that, to date, law firms have been reluctant to turn to web-based services when it comes to processing confidential client information.
The December 2012 issue of LTN is available online now at www.lawtechnologynews.com.
The article, by award-winning reporter Alan Cohen, discusses ALM's exclusive research, including the 2012 Am Law Tech Survey of law firm technology chiefs, and profiles three firms that have adopted different strategies to cloud computing: Kirkland & Ellis; Williams Mullen; and McDermott Will & Emery. The survey found that 63 percent of large law firms use hosted services for electronic discovery and litigation support, and more than a third use the cloud for human resources and email management (e.g., virus checking, spam filtering, etc.). Of those who have adopted cloud computing in some form, 83 percent pointed to simplified support and maintenance as the biggest benefit; 44 percent noted the ability to get by with less hardware in-house. The three profiles bring these statistics to life, illustrating how the firms' CIOs are analyzing risks and opportunities and shaping their strategies.
Complete results from the 2012 Am Law Tech Survey are available for purchase in Excel format from ALM Legal Intelligence at http://www.almlegalintel.com/Surveys/AmLawTech.
"The risk-averse world of Big Law appears to be on an inevitable road to fully embrace the cloud, but certain areas of cloud computing just aren't catching on yet," said Monica Bay, editor-in-chief of LTN. "Just 13 percent of law firms use cloud-based storage and only 8 percent have turned to the cloud for document management. Firms are rightfully hesitant to take the leap where there is any security risk that client confidentiality could be compromised."
Cohen won a 2012 national silver award from the American Society of Business Publications Editors for his LTN cover story, "Resistance is Futile," about Big Law's adoption of Apple iPads and other mobile devices.
The December issue also includes:
Technology on Trial: How iPads helped the plaintiffs' team review a tsunami of documents in the BP oil spill litigation.
Test Drive: During beauty contests, Kia Motors' corporate counsel requires law firms to take a test to demonstrate how well they use basic technology, such as Microsoft's Office suite, to control costs of routine legal work.
Review: Technology editor Sean Doherty evaluates the new Lexis Practice Advisor Corporate Counsel module that helps lawyers handle transactions and create documents.
Law Technology News provides timely information and insight into the latest technologies, products, and services available for the legal marketplace, as well as analysis and commentary from industry experts and senior law firm and corporate counsel decision makers. It is distributed to more than 40,000 selected subscribers and is available on at www.lawtechnologynews.com. The magazine is published by ALM.
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