Both Sides Now: Cloud Services End Internal Law Firm Debates Over Mac vs PC

There is still some discussion over whether law firms can efficiently accommodate both Mac and PC users.  I’m not sure why.  To my mind, that one’s been solved.

Back in the day (like five years ago, not the 1880s), it was far more difficult to absorb Mac users into what were, traditionally, PC-based law firms.  Law firms would run Parallels, or contrive clunky information-shifting and -sharing architectures, any of which everyone hated.  Frustration did abound.

However, the ascendancy of the cloud has essentially made hardware choice irrelevant, or eliminated some of those choices entirely.  Cloud services are, at base, device-agnostic.  Because those services operate via the internet, it doesn’t matter what device you’re using to access them, so long as you have internet access.  Beyond even the question of Mac versus PC, it doesn’t matter that you decide to use a tablet instead, of whatever brand.  The same goes for smartphones, since relevant cloud softwares will feature mobile applications built for iOS and Android.  (Nobody has a Windows Phone anymore, right?)  What that means is that your law firm could be all Mac or all PC or whatever combination thereof you want, and if you’re using cloud software exclusively, everyone will be accessing the same programs, featuring the same data, in the same way.

Mac versus PC, then, only remains an issue for law firms that maintain a dedication to premise-based software.  Of course, it’s easier than ever before to ditch premise-based software, as even companies that made their bones selling premise-based software are moving to create cloud versions or (less effectively) online access portals for their software.  While there are some software types for which improved cloud options for lawyers would be helpful (I’m thinking, immediately, of document assembly), at a very basic level, a law firm could adopt a cloud-based case management system, and deposit the majority of relevant law firm data there, at a shared and easily-accessible (by approved parties) repository — via whichever hardware those parties choose to access that data.

The adoption of a cloud-based technology infrastructure means that law firms can bury the Mac versus PC debate forever, and focus on more important things — like data security in a BYOD culture.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that your Mac-using friends won’t still try to convert you.

Liner Notes

Personally, I use a PC; but, what the hell . . .

Mack the Knife’ by Bobby Darin