Is ALL change good? No. Is ALL change bad? No. The right change at the right time keeps one relevant and efficient.
At long last there appears to be a viable web based competitor to the “old guard” of PC / Windows based legal case management software. It’s called “Rocket Matter “. Those of us who have decided to go against the tide and not bow toward Redmond (ie: Mac & Linux users) are pretty positive about the potential of this new product.
I have noticed that there appears to be a heated discussion raging about using web based case management applications. I’m sure it was not too long ago that the same discussion raged over having a PC or a fax machine in the office. Well, I believe that those new fangled items finally caught on after all.
Here’s some of my thoughts about PC based case management vs. Web based case management. Take them for what they are worth:
* How could something web based be secure? Every major company has a web based log on of some sort that has actively managed security (much of it running on Linux). This is no different. Plus, if you keep all your client’s data on a laptop, how secure is it when it’s stolen?
* What if my web service is down? Well, what if your power is out? What if your phone line is down? If those are real concerns, you’d better stock up on pens, paper tablets, candles and visit all your clients face to face.
* I have to pay them every month instead of buying (a really expensive) license? Don’t you pay your phone bill every month? Did you go buy a law library to avoid paying the monthly cost of online research? Did you buy your office building to avoid a lease? Monthly recurring fees are simply unavoidable in the practice of law. Furthermore, reasonable monthly rates lower the barrier to trying out new products.
Here’s the point, the web and web based services are here to stay. They allow you to work on any machine (even your web enabled phone) with any operating system anywhere you are. If your desktop or laptop dies the service does not. Just get to another machine and keep going.
Rocket Matter may or may not be the web based service you eventually use, but this is where legal case management is headed. I predict that all of the major case management software vendors will develop some sort of affordable web based alternative very, very soon.
So, are you going to be an early adopter? Or are you going to wait and make sure that new fangled thing is going to catch on? I’m all for checking it out and giving it a try, while I run the application through a browser powered by Linux.