1 Cloud Computing and Metadata
2 Cloud Computing An Introduction for Law Firms Cloud computing is one of the most talked about technology topics Different people have different definitions and there are many misconceptions about cloud computing Business owners, especially lawyers, have many questions and concerns about cloud computing
3 Cloud Computing Defined Delivery of hosted technology services over the Internet Services that were previously performed at the workstation/server level are now being provided on a distant host computer The service that is provided could be just about anything that was previously provided at the workstation/server level.
4 Why Is It Called the Cloud? The name seems to fit perfectly but no one person decided to call it the cloud The explanation is much simpler For years, the cloud symbol was used in diagrams and flowcharts to represent a phone network and later computer network A cloud symbol seemed perfectly representative of the new technology
5 What Can You Do with Cloud Computing?
6 Storage Perhaps the simplest form of cloud computing Store data at a hosted location Benefits include less money spent on local infrastructure and support Possible drawbacks include security and data availability Examples are the many online backup services
7 Databases Enter and share data as if it was stored locally Data can be accessed from anywhere Benefits include less money spent on local infrastructure, software, maintenance and support Drawbacks are security and data availability Cloud based databases include applications like Clio, a practice management tool
8 Information Services Information stored online that is searchable and retrievable from anywhere Lawyers should easily relate to this one because they have used Lexis and Westlaw online for years Benefits are the money saved on libraries and local resources Potential drawback is data availability
9 Applications Just about any application that can be run locally can be run in the cloud Google Docs and Gmail are examples of applications that were previously run locally but are now run in the cloud Benefit is the savings on software and maintenance Drawbacks include data availability
10 Platforms, Integrations and Testing This is an important aspect of cloud computing that only developers, consultants and IT staff seem to appreciate We can use the cloud to deploy and test solutions before we deploy them to your network Benefits include time and money savings
11 Security Anti-virus, threat detection and other security functions can be handled in the cloud s can be filtered at a host site and infected or suspicious s can be quarantined before they ever reach your computer Benefits include cost savings and peace of mind Possible drawbacks are data availability and security
12 Infrastructure Some day you may work in an office without computers A keyboard and monitor may someday be all you need to connect to the Internet and do all of the things you currently do at your workstations The potential to save money is huge but you are really at the mercy of your infrastructure and Internet providers
13 Benefits of Cloud Computing
14 Cost of Hardware In the world of technology everything costs money servers, workstations, software, databases, etc. Cloud computing allows you to spend less money on these items, especially hardware Online backup means you are spending less on storage Online databases mean you might not have to deploy another SQL Server
15 Easy Expansion Today when you add an employee, you have to purchase a new workstation for them, purchase additional software licenses, etc. In the cloud, you just tell your provider you have a new employee and within minutes your new employee can use the same services that everyone else does Your next bill just goes up accordingly
16 Fewer IT Staff Today s law firms run on computer technology Solo attorneys and smaller firms use local network providers Larger firms have in-house dedicated personnel and IT directors In the cloud, the hosting provider maintains the applications it is responsible for There is the potential to save quite a bit of money here, especially for larger firms
17 Pitfalls of Cloud Computing
18 Security If your data is in the cloud, you no longer have direct control over it Cloud technology providers will work very hard to keep things secure as their reputations are at stake There is still a security risk After all, a technology provider with thousands of customers (with thousands of clients each) is a tempting target
19 Data Availability Currently you may be dependent on a network of computers with a server If one workstation goes down you can swap in another or if a server goes down you can get someone there to repair it right away In the cloud, if the provider is down or your Internet connection is down you are down What if the provider goes out of business suddenly?
20 Considerations for Attorneys
21 Confidentiality As a law firm, you have a responsibility to protect client information Does storing data in the cloud fulfill this obligation Make sure you diligently examine the policies and procedures of the provider A specific agreement between your firm and the provider is even better Do you have a duty to tell your client their data is in the cloud or give them the ability to opt-out?
22 Discovery Implications In general, pre-trial discover can be made of documents in the possession, custody or control of a party In the cloud, who has possession, custody and control Does your client still have control? Is the provider now a custodian
23 A Few Final Words on Cloud Computing When I hear about cloud computing, I cannot help but think of the dot.com bubble in the late nineties Everyone was starting an Internet company because it was a sure way to make money Most failed but the Internet did not Similarly, in my opinion, cloud computing is here to stay but the provider landscape may drastically change over the next few years Choose your provider wisely
24 Metadata Hidden Data in Your Documents
25 What is Metadata? Simply stated, Metadata is data about data Metadata tracks information about electronic files and documents Metadata is the information about your computer files and documents that you cannot see It is not necessarily a bad thing but it can have serious consequences if ignored
26 Examples of Metadata
27 File Information Every file on your computer contains metadata that tracks things like where it was saved, when it was last accessed or modified, etc. Right click on any file in Windows then look under Properties to see this metadata In most cases, this information is not dangerous
28 Document Metadata Metadata allows programs like Microsoft Word to provide collaboration and revision tools When you use track changes, commenting or any review tool in Word, these features are stored in metadata If you don t turn them off before you send the document out, someone else may be able to see this metadata
29 Benefits of Metadata Metadata is not necessarily a bad thing The ability to perform revision and collaboration in Microsoft Word is a substantial benefit Microsoft did not develop these features to put their customers in danger Without metadata, some of Word s most powerful features would not exist
30 Danger of Metadata The problem is that metadata often contains information you don t want others to see For example, when you make a revision, do you really want someone to know what you changed if from? When viewed by the wrong person, metadata can have consequences ranging from embarrassing to career threatening
31 Metadata Gotchas
32 Your Documents Took Me Forever Lawyer promises a draft of a document to a client on July 1 but sends it out for review on July 7 because it took much longer to draft than he originally thought Client looks at the metadata and sees total editing time was one hour
33 Your Estate Plan Costs as Much as It Does Because of the Individual Attention We Give Your Documents A lawyer justifies his estate planning flat fee because of the personal attention each document receives A client, named Jones, looks at the metadata and sees that the documents were originally created for someone named Smith A simple find and replace was used and the total editing time was less than an hour
34 Hmmm, I Wonder Why They Reduced Their Demand? A lawyer sends out a settlement demand to an insurance company on behalf of their client The insurance company reviews the metadata and sees that the amount demanded was reduced in the final draft from $100,000 to $25,000 Isn t that interesting?
35 Avoiding Metadata Don t Send Word or Excel Documents via Use Acrobat or Another PDF Application Use a Metadata Cleaner Microsoft has a tool called Inspect Document in Word Look for it under the Office button One leading metadata cleaner is Metadata Assistant by Payne Consulting Workshare (previously Deltaview) also has a tool for metadata removal
36 Viewing Metadata If this presentation has made you curious about metadata, here are some ways to take a look at some Right click any file in Windows and select Properties A text editor like the old DOS Edit will show you some metadata, although it is not that easy to read Any metadata cleaner will show you the metadata in a document
37 Jeffrey S. Krause Contact Info Krause Practice Management, LLC 5002 Mesa Court Waterford, WI