I’ve realised over the last few weeks that we (software engineers in IT) seem to have made security for Documents and Folders (whether in a Document Management System – DMS or just on a file share) overly complicated. Add to this the fact that we’ve now added powerful search engines over the top and guess what? We’re finding things are not secured the way we expected!
So here’s my suggestion for a simple security model from a real world perspective. Let me have your thoughts in the comments. Who knows maybe a DMS vendor will take note and implement it?
We all use Google to search, let’s face it. The phrase “Google it” has become part of our everyday lingo. But recently, Google took search to a whole new level by introducing its +1 functionality. Currently this is a Google experiment and you must sign up with Google to participate. You can join the experiment here, read more about here and learn about your privacy with the experiment here.
An organization’s data can be among its chief assets, providing the intelligence to improve performance across the organization. Legal departments are at the beginning stages of thinking about data as a business asset – but there is a huge, untapped opportunity for them to harness their data to strengthen their businesses in ways they could have never imagined
Putting data to work in an organization is an evolution which progresses as it achieves greater success and increased learning. Data usage may range from introducing data mining in new departments or practice areas to leveraging new BI tools to better understand the data that drives better results.
I read an article in The Spectator magazine recently that touched on a customer satisfaction survey of hotels in the USA. The following point caught my eye:
"What emerged from this study was that a guest’s enjoyment and appreciation of almost every aspect of a hotel is coloured by their initial experience of their visit — specifically how fast and easy they had found the business of checking-in."
From a Legal IT point of view I’m sure the same is valid, how that first contact with IT comes across (typically the helpdesk or a local IT support) will colour their view on IT.
Here’s an assertion - law firm size does not matter when it comes to the collaborative cloud. One of the most common themes with collaborative cloud roll-outs is that they are “only” for small law firms. Let me go out on a limb and state that it just simply isn’t true. In fact, large law firms have much more to benefit from collaborative cloud, both from a change management and behavioral change standpoint.
‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there’, so the saying goes. But is this really true of the legal profession? Let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and imagine – like the plot of the hit show ‘Life on Mars’ – that a young solicitor of today has been transported back through time into a law firm of the 1970s. Our time traveller would notice a whole host of differences; the presence of IBM Golfball typewriters (if he was lucky, otherwise manual or crude electric typewriters) instead of PCs, reel to reel Dictaphones and the lack of modern communication devices other than a fixed phone line and for the very large firm a telex machine (a very large typewriter connected to a phone line).
Imagine there’s no infrastructure...
You’ve moved to embrace utility computing in the cloud. Your server room has been turned into a beautiful, tranquil Zen garden where you and your staff can go for quiet contemplation of the universe.
Imagine there’s no PC hardware to refresh...
You’ve moved to a virtualized client and your employees are choosing and buying their own equipment. Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X/iOS, Google Chrome OS and Open Source Unix-based operating systems sit side by side in total harmony.
It’s early days but, already we are getting a real feel for the direction this year will take. As many have noted, 2010 was a transformational year for eDiscovery. In particular, it was the year that highly automated eDiscovery review technology – such as Predictive Coding™, as pioneered by Recommind several years ago – came into its own, with some of the world’s top law firms adopting it for every day use.
This year it’s clear that the UK’s increased regulatory landscape is accelerating the trend toward automating eDiscovery review, while the relentless growth of enterprise data will increase the advance toward a more holistic view of Information Governance.
Another week another outsourcing of legal support staff story, or so it seems in 2011. At the time of writing the latest is Allen & Overy and their move to outsource to Belfast. This follows other firms, like CMS Cameron McKenna giving it’s support staff the choice of Bristol or India.
It’s like the mid 90’s all over again. Well for me it is. At that time I was starting off in IT in the utilities industry. In the UK the government had privatised the regional electricity companies and they were suddenly in a competitive market. Very similar to the position law firms find themselves in now, a time when a fairly comfortable profitable market was suddenly plunged into an arena that was getting very competitive very fast.
It’s been a few years since iManage WorkSite effectively won the war of the document management systems (DMS) against Hummingbird’s DM5. Since then both companies have been through a number of mergers and are currently the Legal DMS products are owned by Autonomy and Opentext respectively.
The peace though looks soon to be shattered by a counter strike on two fronts. On the one side we have the SharePoint juggernaut from Microsoft and on the other a coalition of vendors we’ll call “the cloud” (currently led from the front by netdocuments).
Have you ever thought that everything clients want from a law firm are things that our fee earner want from the Legal IT dept.?
I hadn’t thought of it this way until a colleague raised a number of points that were raised by some senior people from large global organisations at a recent conference.
"We want consistent service from a global service provider, even if it isn’t in the home market, we still want the same good service in a distant geography"
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