ILTA – August 26, 2008 9:00 am
These are my notes from the program. [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog. Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]
Title: Recap of G100 CIO Event – Web 2.0 Focus
Description: Join the G100 CIO Advisory Board as they provide a recap of the G100 CIO event held on Monday, August 25 in conjunction with ILTA ’08. The focus is “Web 2.0 – What It Means to Law Firms,” including a summary of what Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager for Google Apps shared with the group around the phenomenon of Web 2.0 in general.
Date/Time: 8/26/2008 9:00 a.m.
Location: Fort Worth 5,6,7
Speaker(s): Peter Lesser – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
David Rigali – Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP
Karen Levy – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Peter Attwood – Simmons & Simmons
- The panel recapped the G100 CIO Advisory Board meeting from 8/25/08
- What is Web 2.0?
- an aspect of collaboration rather than just web consuption.
- structured vs. unstructured data – it may be ok to have multiple collaborators.
- Is it different the Enterprise 2.0? – trying to take the concepts of web 2.0 and incorporate them in organizations.
- At Mallesons wikis started with IT staff and now it is among the practice groups – someof the most prolific users are the more senior attorneys. average age of partner there is 39 (is this a factor?)
- Firm culture is important – some use DMS as a confidential repository, some have them open. The latter may find wikis more acceptable.
- They has a client facing wiki.
- They allow people to even restructure the wiki page.
- Firms are not looking to IT to set it up. It is very low cost.
- Use: from a practice group perspective, the wiki content was not a part of the record (i.e., the matter records) – the content is more practice-group related rather than matter related.
- Some fear contributions to wikis becuase they don’t want to be seen as having written something stupid.
- The wikis are getting 1000 hits per day.
- Best adoption was in IP practice group.
- In technology department they have a wiki page for their meeting agendas.
- The panel was asked if they will use wikis.
- Lesser said not now, but didn’t rule it out for the future. It is a cultural thing.
- Levy – there are ways to introduce it (admin first, perhaps) – find out where it fits. It’s a tool and it may fit some problems, not others.
- Attwood – has tried it in IT, some have worked, others not, agrees with Levy
- Brandt – thought was – if it is “cheap to fail” why not try it.
- Question: what about blogging?
- Lesser’s firm has a policy against it – presumably refering to external blogs (but there is one internal blog).
- What about the fear of discovery (from a litigation perspective)?
- Brandt – the stuff is still there (now it’s just in email and other electronic places) [great point – people need to understnad this!!]. Levy agreed.
- Google Apps (some of the notes below are beyond Google specifically)
- idea is cloud computing and using Offie-style apps (like Word, email, spreadsheets, presentations) on Google’s servers.
- the price is fixed, the upgrades in functionality are frequent.
- Docs has full doc version control.
- there is real time collaboration on documents.
- Attwood was surprised how far forward Google is.
- Lesser thought this was the most interesting topic. Many in the room thought they might see this in the next 1-1.5 years. It may be client driven (if a client adopts it, law firms may have to adopt it as well).
- The thought was to sit with Google to adjust it to make it legal specific.
- The functionality is very far from the feature set that we are used to from Microsoft.
- Security seems to be there. It is encrypted.
- Google allows you to tie in your own authentication methods
- There was debate about whether firms are ready to give up all they have done in the last 10-15 years.
- Many firms are looking at getting away from a specialiszed approach and going for a more corporate approach. Stop making and using customized applications and use more standardized applications.
- The cost issue (often 1/10 of what the existing systems might cost) may be the thing that convinces partners to move away from the customized apps and go for more standardized apps.
- The panel agreed that communicating with Google early on may convince them to focus on what they might be able to do to make it work for law firms.
- A benefit to focusing on more out-of-the-box approach is that you can upgrade quickly.
- The panel plans to reach out to Google and others, like Microsoft, etc. to see how firms can move in this direction.
- One take away
- Levy – the dramatic gap in cost between the traditional approach and the new Google approach.
- Attwood – this is moving much faster than he thought.
- Lesser – thinks that the whole cloud computing could work.
- Brandt – There seems to be no real road map to the development of the products – it is based on user feedback, which is good.
It was refreshing to hear such forward-looking ideas on the panel.
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