My company has been helping law firms design, implement and support innovative legal technologies for over 25 years. I have seen a lot of change in that time – some of it for the better and some . . . well, not so helpful. Below are five developments I noticed this year. Not listed is the sixth and most important change: the increasing interest in learning and sharing knowledge in our community.
- Security Prevails: SentinelOne Stops Ransomware
Numerous law firms have been hit by ransomware and, thus, invested countless hours recovering. They are now seeking solutions that go beyond reacting and focus on prevention. Various vendors are now on the scene offering to monitor and stop questionable behaviors rather than relying on anti-virus software with signatures. Of these, SentinelOne is our favorite.
- Cloud Computing Begins Gaining Wide Acceptance
Though cloud computing is gaining acceptance among moderately sized law firms, there is still some hesitation. This is likely due to the conservative nature of many firms. In the cloud computing space, Microsoft Office 365, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure lead the pack. The continuing migration of law firms to the cloud will entail significant changes and opportunities.
- iManage Goes Private
iManage “took their company back,” as some say, by breaking away from Hewlett-Packard and becoming a private company again. They have since accelerated their development and support cycles and made clear their renewed commitment to clients and partners alike. We have partnered with them from the very beginning, and I am certain they will pull out all the stops to make clients happy in the next year.
- NetDocuments Gains Acceptance and Acquires Decisiv Email Technology from Recommind
Cloud computing has pushed law firms of all sizes toward cloud-based document and email management. As I noted above, moving to the cloud can bring significant beneficial opportunities. NetDocuments' powerful suite of tools for document creation, organization and editing integrates with Microsoft Office applications. Decisiv Email solves email management issues by understanding email content and user patterns in order to accurately predict where an email should be filed.
- DocsCorp Unifies Platform
DocsCorp had a busy year. Their already-excellent document management tools – pdfDocs, cleanDocs, contentCrawler, compareDocs – were rewritten, and are fully integrated and supported. I would suggest that you take a look at their updated offerings. Best of all, unlike many software vendors, they are listening to their clients and dedicated to making the improvements legal professionals need.
These were five significant changes on my radar in 2015. There are certainly more I could list, but the above developments will impact legal technology in 2016 and beyond. We look forward to seeing where they take us in the New Year!