It’s no secret that 21st century attorneys are highly mobile and practice law from just about anywhere. Gone are the days of working within the office, behind old wooden desks, and going home for the weekend with your files safely stowed in your litigation bag. Today’s lawyer works at Panera and Starbucks. They demand a high performance and secure desktop which is quick to boot-up and stable, regardless of physical work location. Over the years telecommuting attorneys have risen from the dark ages of PC Anywhere to virtual desktop systems such as Terminal Server, Citrix and VDI. The challenges with these virtual platforms is that they are highly dependent on the quality of Internet bandwidth, and often would result in slow logon times, inconsistent connectivity and most concerning, an overall poor user experience. If you follow the ILTA Technology Survey you will notice that interest in virtual desktops started to plummet about two years ago. While VDI was all the rage in 2013 – 2015, it’s quickly becoming a unicorn technology which is expensive to implement and complex to maintain.
Enter the next generation of legal desktops! Today’s lawyers demand mobility, high-performance, stability and security. The desktop workstation is the one element of IT which directly impacts the way a professional gets work done. So what’s changed? First and foremost – the applications themselves. Today’s email and document management systems are built for direct access across the Internet. They have matured in such a way whereas they no longer require the added layer of virtual solutions to encapsulate and deliver applications. Modern versions of legal software communicate securely over HTTPS and enable the local installation of the business applications directly on the computers, thereby placing the Windows 10 operating system and the applications themselves close to the user in order to deliver a high-fidelity experience. On our most recent projects we have witnessed a shift in the selection of hardware with the vast majority of attorneys opting for laptops or Surface Pro’s running fast Intel i7 processors with 16GB or RAM and solid state hard drives. Zero to boot times are under 15 seconds and access to emails, attachments and documents stored in the cloud are quick and secure. This next generation desktop also reduces the need for remote access systems as mobile attorneys are traveling more and more with light weight computers which weigh-in at under three pounds. When back at the office these same professionals connect up to a docking stations and enjoy the added real-estate of dual monitors.
So, if your firm is considering a desktop upgrade project and is searching for a better way to deliver a modern user experience, give us a call. It would be our pleasure to demonstrate what the “next generation” desktop experience should be, while reducing complexity and support cost and accounting for the security which your clients demand.