February 15, 2012

Cloud Connect 2012-Why I Think The Cloud Will Rule Your Future

by Cary J. Calderone

The keynotes on Tuesday and Wednesday, the official full days of Cloud Connect 2012, were both interesting and entertaining.  My comment from last year still stands.  Short and to the point 15 minute speeches by many industry influencers beats the heck out of one long keynote.   This format means that speakers do not have to worry about filling time for an hour or more.   Instead, they make their most important points fast.    I'll list a few of my favorites later, but to me, the energy and focus of the show lead me to one conclusion.  The Cloud is important because it offers a rare combination of the aspirin and the vitamin in the same pill.   Silicon Valley lives and breaths by startups coming along with aspirin, to solve headaches, and vitamins to boost your revenue.   Cloud solutions offer you both.   At last year's Industry Summit, John Hagel quipped that with all the hype, we were still underestimating the impact of the Cloud.   After this year's show, I think I can fully appreciate his forecast.
Many of the keynote words penetrated my ever-skeptical legal mind, and yet, try as I might to fight it, I ended up agreeing their visions.  First, the Cloud really offers solutions for many headaches-reducing the growth of  IT staff expenses and costly hardware and software upgrades.  The way data is growing, easy, safe, and affordable expansion is necessary.   Even more importantly though, the secondary Cloud positives, are vitamins.  Not only will you manage and keep your growing stores of data better, you will also have many more opportunities to exploit your data.   As a simple example consider your smart phone.    On one level it now brings more data to the equation, your location.  Tie that to Google Maps, or your favorite restaurant review website, or your client address book, and you have the best of everything-access to your old resources with new location data that makes it more useful to you.   No need to spend on paper to printout maps either.  For a law practice example, imagine clicking another button and your billing program captures the time you spend traveling to meet the client.  No need to write it down or remember it for when you are back at your desk.  It should go straight into your Cloud billing program.  For a DRED application, imagine that all your data will be managed by powerful search and management tools.   The metrics and algorithms will provide you with access to more critical information about your data, and your internal and external users.  These tools to monitor your data are both the aspirin and vitamin.  Why would you need business intelligence software and then a separate e-discovery early case assessment tool?   These should be features of your data Cloud, not separate products.  The list goes on and on.   So, do you have a plan for the Cloud?  

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