Surface Pro v. iPad: 3 Legal Mobility Insights from the ILTA Technology Survey

cycling crop -813890_960_720 Pixabay

Each December the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) publishes their tour de force Technology Survey. Where BlackBerries were indispensable, iPhones dominate and iPads are nearly ubiquitous – but the Legal mobility scenario is dynamic. Here’s a look at three charts from the survey.

Microsoft Surface Pro – Making a Run for It 

Is it a bird, is it a plane? Is a Surface Pro a tablet or a notebook PC? Whatever you call it, the Surface Pro is on the radar in Legal now.

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Biggest Challenge: Security Management – 2015 ILTA Technology Purchasing Survey

The 10th Annual 2015 ILTA / InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey was released at ILTACON last week. It’s a quick read and I recommend taking a look at the entire report.

As an introduction to the tech survey, I’ve highlighted the five points that I found most interesting and indicative of our times.

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Mobile Helix Demonstrates New LINK Mobile App Productivity Features for Lawyers at ILTACON 2015

See you Sunday at Caesars!

Ceasars_Palace_atrium Wikimedia Commons greater crop

Mobile Helix, a pioneer in encrypted mobile solutions for lawyers, announced today that it will unveil the latest features of its LINK mobile app at ILTACON 2015. LINK is a single secure app which enables lawyers to work with DMS, NetDocuments, Outlook, SharePoint, and the firm intranet from smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Helix will demonstrate LINK’s new line-up of features which no other single app offers including: viewable NRL attachments; Send-and-File-to DMS; secure document edit; and search of all repositories, including DMS.

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Doubling Down on ILTACON 2015

Caesars Postcard

Isn’t this a fantastic photo of Caesars – when it was smack in the middle of the desert?

ILTACON 2015 kicks off at the modern day Caesars Palace on August 30th. The technical content is invaluable and the people are fantastic. Peer-to-peer sharing of successes and networking with like-minded techies are the hallmarks of ILTACON.

If you use DMS including NetDocuments, or SharePoint, mark our session on Wednesday, 3:30 PM, in your conference app and join us:

“DMS & SharePoint – Mobile Productivity is Easier than You Think.”

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ILTA Webinar : Make the Most of DMS – Mobilize with LINK

logo_ilta peer powered

View the recording here.

Now DMS is easy to use from smartphones and tablets with the LINK mobile app.

• Open an email & view an NRL attachment
• Send and email and File-to DMS
• Compose an email and attach a doc from DMS or SharePoint
• No VPN is used

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ILTA Docks at the Inner Harbor – SharePoint Symposium 2015

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This year the ILTA SharePoint Symposium, June 9-10, is in Baltimore, right on the Inner Harbor at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.  The Inner Harbor is vibrant and a model of urban revitalization. I’m looking forward to both the SPS and exploring the Inner Harbor. Below is a terrific drawing of the Baltimore harbor in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the background.

Baltimore Harbor from Federal Hill in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the Background - Public Domain

Baltimore Harbor in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the Background – Public Domain

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Mobility for Lawyers – File Access is Key

iphone 6 in hand V2With 91% of lawyers using smartphones¹, Legal IT professionals are deploying solutions to expand mobile productivity at their firms. Here are three tips for mobile prosperity in 2015.

1. Files for the win.
Lawyers are all about billing. Their billable work is frequently related to electronically stored docs: contracts, briefs, and supporting research. Make sure that your mobile solution provides your lawyers with secure mobile access to their files.

The challenge is that files are stored in an array of repositories. Most often files are stored on-premises in a Document Management (DM) system such as WorkSite. Files may also be stored on-premises in SharePoint or Windows/CIFS file shares. At some firms, files may be stored in NetDocuments, which is a growing cloud-hosted DM. Use of public cloud solutions like Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive for file sharing is less common.²

Wherever your firm stores its files, from WorkSite to OneDrive, make sure that your lawyers can access their files from smartphones and tablets. A lawyer needs to be able to quickly find a file, review it, then to email or share the file, along with pertinent advice, to the client.

2. User experience will make it or break it.
If you work in legal technology, you are well-familiar with this dynamic. Lawyers have high standards. Consumer apps are easy and intuitive. Lawyers want the same at work. If your mobility solution does not provide an experience which is on par with consumer apps it won’t be adopted. A single workspace app with email, files, DM, SharePoint, calendar, and contacts is ideal.

Be sure to include lawyers in your trial. Poor user experience is the leading cause of failure of enterprise mobile apps.³ There’s precious little worse than deploying a solution which becomes shelfware.

3. Keep it simple.
The world has changed. Buying physical hardware is old school. Your mobility solution should not rely on proprietary servers. If it is to be deployed on-premises, look for a solution based on Virtual Machines, HTTPS, Exchange, HTML5, that is, infrastructure which you use today. Standard IT infrastructure will keep your costs and maintenance efforts low. If your firm is ready for a cloud-hosted mobility solution, that is often the simplest way to proceed.

At Mobile Helix we specialize in mobile applications which make it easy for legal teams to be productive from smartphones and tablets. If you are exploring ways to provide mobility to your lawyers we would be happy to discuss your needs and how we might be able to help you.

–Maureen

Twitter: @mobilehelix

1. ABA TECHREPORT 2014.

2. Recent ILTA data indicates that 15% of law firms use Dropbox for large file sharing. This figure was down in 2014 from 2013.

3. Kony Enterprise Mobility Survey.

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