Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!

From all of us at Mobile Helix, may your days be merry and bright!

For this short week, here are three of my favorite reads. If you read one thing this week, read Paul Graham’s post.

How to be an Expert in a Changing World

america-astronaut-astronomy-2422 Earth

This post by Paul Graham resonates for me as it echoes my own view that embracing change and exercising creativity are keys to success.Two quotes, “…have an explicit belief in change,” and, “When experts are wrong, it’s often because they’re experts on an earlier version of the world.” Paul Graham is one of the founders of Y Combinator, the startup incubator which broke the mold and has had success beyond the odds.

 

IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions Predictions for 2015

I find several of IDC’s findings to be optimistic with respect to enterprise mobile application development adoption, but I would be perfectly happy if they were proven out. For example:

  • 35% of large enterprises will leverage mobile application development platforms to develop and deploy mobile apps across their organizations in 2015.
  • The number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016.

How Customer Success Meaningfully Reduces Cost of Customer Acquisition

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint does the math. Customer success can have a significant impact on customer acquisition cost (CAC) for SaaS companies. The key is in customer referrals.

–Maureen

Legal IT Gems from the ILTA 2014 Technology Survey

legal it

Credit Viktor Hanacek

If you love data and Legal IT, the new International Legal Technology Association 2014 Technology Survey will be right up your alley. At 301 pages it is chock-full of fascinating data.

Over 450 law firms and legal departments responded to nearly 200 questions. The firms range in size from under 50 attorneys to over 700 attorneys on staff. I encourage you to take a look at the report for yourself. Legal IT is not like IT in other sectors. Legal IT moves more slowly in some arenas and more quickly in other arenas. Some of the data will amaze you, especially if you are from the west coast of the United States where Cloud-hosted solutions have been more readily adopted.

Email

For example, attorneys, as they will tell you, “live in email.” What email platform do they live in?

MS Exchange 2010: 78%

MS Exchange 2007: 13%

MS Exchange 2013: 6%

Office 365: 1%

Gmail: less than 1%

By far the dominant email platform at law firms is Outlook, with 91% of those surveyed still using 2007 or 2010. Email hosted in the Cloud, much like file storage in the Cloud, is far from mainstream at law firms.

Document Management Systems

Law firms use an abundance of products to manage data, search data, and discover data. One widely used type of solution is known as document management. It provides strict version control and document check-in and check-out. Firms were asked which DMS they use. Shown here are the 2013 / 2014 responses. WorkSite (now from HP) has long been the market share leader, but NetDocuments is emerging as the growth leader.

Autonomy WorkSite:  47% / 49%

OpenText/Hummingbird: 19 / 20%

Worldox: 11 / 12%

NetDocuments: 6% / 8%

At Mobile Helix, we provide mobility solutions for law firms and were especially interested in the mobile data.

Tablet Usage

Adoption of tablets is strong in law firms. An average of 40% of legal IT teams report that their attorneys use tablets or iPads. 90% have iOS tablets in use, 44% have Android, and 42% have Microsoft Surface Pros in use. Notably, this 42% for Surface Pro is up from zero percent reported last year. Surprising? For insight, read Leo Sun in Why Microsoft’s Surface Pro Could Be One of the Most Important Devices of 2015.  He accurately makes the point that legacy enterprises are dependent on Microsoft Windows products. This won’t change in the next few years. For those entities, the Surface Pro 3 provides lightweight mobility as well as compatibility with existing software. Per IDC’s report in August, tablet demand is leveling off. While the volume of Surface Pros in use at legal teams may not be high today, Legal IT professionals in many firms are testing them or have pilots in place.

Mobile Device Management

Legal IT professionals were asked, which third-party systems are you using for MDM? The responses:

None: 54%

MobileIron: 12%

Good Technology: 8%

AirWatch: 8%

The data on Mobile Device Management show that there is no clear leader in MDM in the Legal sector.  Usage is fairly evenly distributed between the top three providers. As the data show, many law firms are in the process of defining their mobile strategy and solutions.

Financial Support of Smartphones

Of the firms responding, 82% provide some type of financial support for smartphones for partners. 47% provide partial support for the phone. With respect to the service plan, 55% pay for the entire data plan while 47% pay for a portion of the data plan.

Finally, a resounding bit of data. Do you force the use of a password to unlock the screen of mobile devices? Yes – 83%.

–Maureen

 

Mobile File Sharing – It’s About More Than the Cloud

Credit: Viktor Hanacek

Credit: Viktor Hanacek

You’ve been in this situation. You prepare for a client meeting or for court. You’ve got digital copies of all of the documents that you will need. Until you don’t. While you are in transit you get a message which changes things. You will need a few more files, but you have no mobile file sharing from your smartphone or tablet.

Files. After mobile access to email, files are the medium which we most need on the fly. We swap them with colleagues. We prepare and send docs to clients, who send them back and ask for changes. We change them, save them, and send them back.

It’s a tremendous productivity boost to have mobile file sharing from our smartphones and tablets.

Here is the challenge for IT. Where are the files which employees need to share from their smartphones stored?

Wait, you say. Isn’t this simple? Aren’t files all moving to the Cloud?

No, not in all cases. And definitely not in the near-term. While file storage in the Cloud is growing, there are many sectors and companies which won’t migrate to the Cloud for many years, if ever. Gartner’s 2013 CIO Survey1 found that 28% of CIOs expect to source all critical applications and operations via the Cloud by 2016, and 55% expect to do so by 2020. On the other hand, this means that 45% of CIO’s do not expect to source via the Cloud by 2020. While a significant portion of companies can move to the Cloud, for others it’s a more complex matter.

By some estimates, 20-30% of all file storage may never migrate to the Cloud. The Everest Group, in their Cloud Adoption Survey 20132, found that 21% of surveyed enterprises have no plan to migrate collaboration and content management systems to the Cloud.

Law firms, financial institutions, and other regulated industries will, in many cases, not be able to meet security and confidentiality requirements with Cloud storage. Amongst other issues, the concern that governments may require Cloud storage services to release files to the government is a major deterrent to Cloud-based file sharing at firms with highly sensitive data.

The reality is that file storage is undergoing a major transition which will last for many years. Some legal and financial firms do store certain classes of files, for example, those used for training, in Cloud storage. In the ILTA/Inside Legal 2014 Technology Purchasing Survey3, 35% of participants reported that they had purchased Cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox, Box, ShareFile or OneDrive) in the last 12 months. However, only 17% plan to make Cloud storage purchases in the next 12 months. A wholesale conversion to Cloud storage is not in the works in the legal sector. At many firms, files will remain on-premises, behind the firm firewall, for years to come.

What this means is that mobile solutions must support sharing of files stored in a myriad of repositories, both on-premises and in the Cloud. Files may be stored in Windows shares, SharePoint, or WorkSite on-premises, or in NetDocuments, OneDrive, Box, or Dropbox in the Cloud. Files may be on-premises this quarter and be migrated to Box next quarter. To the mobile professional, where the files are stored must be transparent. All that matters to the user is that file sharing on a mobile device is fast and easy. Therefore, IT needs one mobility solution which lets mobile users share files no matter where they are stored.

–Maureen

  1. Gartner CIO Agenda Report 2013, p. 8; http://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/cio/pdf/cio_agenda_insights2013.pdf
  2. Everest Group Cloud Adoption Survey 2013, p. 9; http://www.everestgrp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2013-Enterprise-Cloud-Adoption-Survey.pdf
  3. 2014 International Legal Technology Association/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey, p.6; http://insidelegal.typepad.com/files/2014/08/2014_ILTA_InsideLegal_Technology_Purchasing_Survey.pdf