ILTACON – Las Vegas 2015 Heavy Clouds (But No Rain)
For those of you not familiar with ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) it is an association that is made up of technologists, administrators, attorneys and anyone else who has an interest in how technology is shaping the way law firms do business. As a Gold Sponsor, Adaptive Solutions has a long history of engaging with its members to learn from them, and to share what we see as the key trends and drivers in legal technology. The annual convention is attended by more than 100 exhibitors and thousands of ILTA members from the USA and across the globe. There are also dozens of presentations and breakout sessions led by industry experts – another great way to keep up with current trends and thought-leadership.
Landing in Las Vegas at the end of August, you are assured of a warm welcome. By the sun, blue skies, slot machines, neon lights and the heat. OK, it’s a dry heat but at that time of year it’s still pretty warm – not a cloud in the sky.
Inside the convention (this year held at Caesar’s Palace) it was a completely different story – there were clouds EVERYWHERE. It seems like law firms are finally embracing clouds and are moving quickly to cloud-based solutions for everything from email to document management. These solutions help reduce the on-site footprint of the traditional server room, offer high-availability since they are not reliant on a single point of failure, and make computing for legal staff an ‘anywhere, any-time’ experience without the need to connect to Citrix, RDP or VPN. In particular, Microsoft Office365 is becoming THE next move for network administrators looking at the next generation of email platform beyond their Exchange server.
Some other themes definitely evolved too – that security is HUGE right now, not only with technology staff but with partners, administrators and lawyers (and here cloud solutions have proved themselves to be more secure than any traditional on-premise security arrangements); that the legal desktop with Windows 10, with its new approach to patching and security, is going to be a big challenge in the coming months as PCs with Windows 7 starts to age and need to be replaced; and that Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) may be more of a passing fad than many people thought a couple of years ago. As more applications are available ‘anywhere, any-time’, so the need for DaaS is replaced by the simple need for an internet connection which gives staff direct access to the information they need to be productive – at the office, at home, on the road, wherever they happen to be.
Several of Adaptive’s management team, including Adam, Chuck and Ron, gave presentations on various subjects to packed rooms – it is a great way for us to communicate with everyone on how we see technology driving and changing the way law firms do business.
In closing, we met hundreds of smart, interesting and well-informed legal technologists who are shaping the industry – these are the folks that keep us motivated to do what we do, and what makes our work so rewarding!