Version of Events: Cloud Software Means You Never Have to Update

This is version 2.0 of version 2.0.  The planned obsolescence of planned obsolescence. This is the update to end all updates.

No, I’m not holding up a sign, and talking about the end times.  I am, however, addressing software versions.  Even now, I regularly run across law firms that operate different versions of local applications.  So, maybe three different vintages of Adobe Acrobat, with different settings and different costs, all ostensibly meant to do the same thing: manage PDFs.  Now, you might be thinking to yourself, ‘Hey, I have, like, seven different versions of Adobe Acrobat – it’s all good in the hood!’ However, running that many different versions of a software can be problematic, for a variety of reasons.

For one, thing it’s more difficult to train/update employees and troubleshoot existing issues.  Internally, someone trying to a question about how to use a program may be flummoxed by the fact that their process (built in one version) may not work for the questioner (who may be using another version).  That issue can also be exacerbated when clients deal with multiple staffpersons, who themselves are attached to different systems.  From a budget management perspective, your replacement table may be all over the board (meaning you won’t effectuate it — because it’s harder to do), and the different payment requirements for different versions means that it will be impossible for you to flatten your cost allocations.  Law firms are also historically bad at updating local software applications.  Not only does that mean that your systems won’t be working as effectively as they could be, it could also leave you exposed to viruses and nefarious data hacks.

Neither is this problem localized to non-cloud-based technology infrastructures.  There are plenty of law firms running different desktop versions of cloud-based software that they also utilize.  For example, there are a lot of law firms that use Office 365, along with other version of Office, all the way down to Office on XP — which is a dangerous thing to do.

This is all so much easier with cloud-based software.  Let the developers worry about the versions.  All you need to know is that, since the software is cloud-based, your version is always the latest version.  Everyone is working with the same tools, in the same way.  Clients are exposed to the same features.  Your payment schedule is synchronized and predictable.

Now, that’s a version of events you can stick to.

 

 

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