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Providers of web products, and enterprise solutions, are shuddering. They are asking themselves, have we missed the boat, what's the next big thing, who's using what and will our competitor back the right horse?
The multi-platform delivery of information and the format battles of the huge web "accelerators" (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, mobile providers) is causing all this consternation.
Trying to work out what tech gear to kit out the company with - laptops, tablets, smartphones, social tools, what to move into "the cloud" – is seen as quite a challenge. Big questions with big price tags associated.
You can see why people are worried.
The reality is a little different. There is another way ... leave the changing tech world to your end users to decide.
The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and a lowering of the bar on "tech savvyness" (due to the Apple ease of use mantra) means that users are empowering themselves and 'finding ways' to get the necessary working tools and ways to consuming information.
During the course of everyday interactions with lawyers I have been struck almost daily by the ingenuity and tech adoption of lawyers. And often the lawyers who are the most ingenious on the surface are those you least expect it from… recently I heard a tale of an experienced Canadian lawyer who recently bought an iPad and within weeks uses an annotate app for all note taking, Dropbox, Gmail and Google calendar. This reminded me of a session with a lawyer who was uploading legal documents, articles and cases to the Amazon cloud every evening to read on his Kindle at home.
These aren’t tools built by legal suppliers or the legal IT providers, this is users wanting to create or get their information to the places they have the best reading experience, the best “app” experience, the most familiar experiences. There are lawyers out there who are ‘mashing’ information via RSS, emailing between work and personal email accounts to read on the move, lawyers who see an email delivery feature on a website and think, “I can send this to my Kindle”.
So maybe ultimately there is less a need to “catch up” constantly with new delivery channels (new apps, new technology etc) and more a case of providing the means to give people the ability to be creative and free to move content around – exporting and importing. Empowering lawyers to be creative and move with the trends and ultimately with what works best for the individual.
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