Robert points out that the survey is limited to firms with less than 20 lawyers, which I believe is significant enough to show the actual trends of solo and small firm practitioners.
I’m surprised by some of the results, especially, as Robert notes, security concerns: “[W]hen asked why they believe the cloud is not secure, a significant number of respondents cited fear of access by the government or the NSA. They also cited fear of hackers and rogue employees of the cloud vendor.” More importantly, “the survey nonetheless found that 41% of small-firm lawyers believe that the cloud is secure and only 9% say it is unsecure.”
The cloud is essential for lawyers using mobile devices. Although there are some security concerns, I believe that big companies, such as Google, are actually doing more for your data than you are. Cloud computing can also offer financial advantages over traditional computing methods. Attorneys need to start warming up to the idea of cloud solutions, since many products and services will head in that direction.
I advocate utmost diligence if your firm is considering cloud services. Most cloud practice management companies offer 30 day trials (which really isn’t enough time to learn and use) to review their products. Further, cloud storage options like Dropbox, Bitcasa, and Drive have free options to coincide with their fee-based services. Examine and review your cloud provider thoroughly, and most importantly, read their terms of service, privacy policies, and ask questions regarding their handling of your data (especially off-shore data storage).
Here’s the full slideshow, if you want to see a summary of the survey results.