Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2011

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 138 of 143

LESSONS LEARNED Flipping the of the cloud security/functionality argument, but also because of Google’s lack of experience in legal (at least on paper). In our industry, everything has to be custom-made for lawyers, the way they work with legal taxonomies and so forth. Also, comparisons to other professional service organizations and how they are run are often few and far between. Really? Why? With several years of corporate business experience under my belt, I see many ideas and best practices, especially as they relate to technology and change management, from which legal can learn and equally benefit. A DRIVING CHANGE At Oracle and Intel, I learned one has to redefine his role every 18 months to survive. At these companies, change is so expected, so fast, such a thriving part of the business culture; one could expect not only their technology interface to change, but their behavior and outlook to change as well. Individuals in these corporate environments are meant to bring about this change themselves. Granted, most behavioral change and change management initiatives are driven by the consumer first, and the tools second. However, with the onset of social media-driven technology, this behavioral change is being driven by tools first, by the consumer second, and then integrated through business. With change in mind, but with a tangible list of technology needs to check off, our firm ventured to ILTA’s 2009 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Based on our learnings at conference, and in keeping with what ‘others’ 140 Peer to Peer t Bradford & Barthel (B&B), last year we chose to integrate our business model with Google, specifically the Google Apps collaborative cloud platform. A brave (and/or stupid) move, some have said. Why? Not ‘just’ because Switch: Running Your Firm from the Cloud by Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Management and Technology at Bradford & Barthel, LLP outside of legal were doing with innovative cloud solutions, we decided to shift our paths toward an environment that would be competitive, social media-driven and innovate day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month to drive behavioral change. CHOOSING GOOGLE APPS We wanted our entire information management platform to be exposed via our intranet, extranets and portals and integrated through unified search, again, internally and with clients. We needed this platform to aid in our alternative staffing models and enable outsourcing through efficiency change management initiatives. We did not want to support this platform ourselves, develop this platform, nor devote resources to product upgrades and rollouts. This platform had to evolve, compete and move forward through continual innovation. Enter Google Apps. We chose Google Apps for this platform, though in reality we chose to merge our business model with the innovation Google represents, as opposed to clinging to the name of their particular ‘flavor’ of cloud. With platforms like Google and competing solutions, the focus has to not only be on what these collaborative platforms offer the enterprise, but how their enormous resources and drive for competition improve the evolving platform at speeds and in ways in-house solutions at global firms or firms of any size cannot realistically replicate. While our firm’s leaders are not high-risk gamblers, we did make a few bets when it came to Google Apps…we bet that resources at Google would be better able to build, innovate and evolve their technology than our firm; we also bet that this platform would integrate between our firm, our clients and our goals as a business, in our practice areas and our knowledge management initiatives. ILTA Quick Poll: Will most attorneys work from home in 2020? Yes=24%; No=76%

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