Welcome

Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in Northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!

Friday, July 15, 2016

My Updated Thoughts On Cloud Computing

I have always been a staunch advocate for the idea of buying software and installing it in your office, and a skeptic of the idea of cloud computing. I thought cloud software was renting software, and that added to the cost, allowed the software vendors to hold the customers hostage, and subjected data to security vulnerabilities. I am starting to change my mind.

Cost. The cost for software will always be there. Software companies, like all businesses, exist to make a profit. My fear that cloud software systems could exploit the customer is still a real concern but not anything that can be avoided even if you have a server based system. I do believe the price point for cloud software is higher than purchased software. Regardless, it is going to cost you money. As I learned recently with the corporate changes at AbacusLaw, what that company did was triple its support rates, support that you have to have to keep the software that you bought running. To make sure you buy their new stuff, Microsoft just stops supporting older products, period. That is similar types of exploitation.The cost of keeping software is just a cost of doing business.

Security. I was fearful that the target sites for my cloud computing would not be secure enough to keep out hackers. Well folks, there is no such thing as an impervious computer system, be it server-based or in the cloud. Right now, somewhere there is some teenage kid, or some foreign government agent trying to hack in to my system and yours. Given the bank grade security that exists on all reputable cloud providers, you are probably safer in the cloud these days then you are out of it.

Convenience. This is the big life changer for me. Now that our law library and practice management system are 100% cloud based I have been reborn. I have zero software maintenance. No updates to install. No bugs to rectify. Maintenance happens who knows where in the middle of the night, with no meddling from me. I just show up at work and stuff works. Awesome.

Innovation. I am finding that improvements and innovations are constantly rolling out on our cloud products. Rather than focusing on one huge annual upgrade, vendors can constantly tweak their products and make them better. Heck, a new weekly feature that is bug free is a whole lot better than the annual beta testers, and subsequent patches, that I am used to getting.

Timeliness. Because products and information can be updated instantly cloud software is fresher. No longer do I have to wait for an annual CD with all the year's cases on it. I get them online the same day that they are published by the official reports (sometimes even faster than that)!

Platform Blind.  Because my cloud software is accessed through a browser, it does not matter what kind of computer I am using. Be it a Mac, a PC, an iPad, a Google Chrome or Android device, it all works the same. We have always run PCs at the office because our software compelled it. At home I run Mac products because they are better. Now it makes little difference.

Mobility. All I need is the internet, and Boom I am working. No internet you say? Okay, no new issue there. My old way of doing things was to use remote computing software (GoToMyPC or LogMeIn) to access my office computer and run the software on it. For that to happen I still needed the internet.

I am diggin the cloud, and I bet you will too!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

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