I was contemplating what it is about sourcing one’s technology from the cloud that is really game changing for professional service firms of all sizes.
When I listen to techie types talk about software as a service and pay as you use technology, they tend to focus on the mechanical detail like the stuff in the picture below. You know – the practical benefits of moving away from having to maintain systems of one’s own etc etc.
And sure, there are quantifiable benefits to be gained by not having to pay for hardware or needing to keep resources who have the skills to maintain and update these systems. It’s also increasingly true that the security processes and standards offered by the virtual solutions are far in excess of those that one could set up for oneself.
However, I think the real point is this. BigLaw (with thanks to Beaton Consulting for that handy descriptor) has long been able to offer funky technical things to their clients like portals and online tools because they’ve had the financial clout to support the investment. It’s the arrival of business-grade cloud solutions that is opening up a new world of services to pretty much any size of law firm.
Peter Steiner’s prophetic cartoon in the New Yorker back in 1993 made the joke that ‘On the Internet nobody knows that you’re a dog’ and that’s the nub of this. It’s not that the cloud solutions per se need to offer earth-shatteringly different functions. It’s that the lower cost of entry means that technology is now accessible by firms of all sizes, leveling the playing field, meaning that it’s not just the big dogs who can be technologically appealing to their clients. A firm of two can show up online in pretty much the same way as a firm of two thousand. Which means the potential challengers for work evolves yet again.
*i thought everybody knew this quote. turns out, that’s not quite the case. put it down to the fact that I have a brain which absorbs all manner of arcane factoids and useless limericks.
By Andrea Foot, General Manager at Tikit Australia
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