Mobile and Cloud Computing for SharePoint Users, Part 2

Marcus Liban

Marcus Liban

January 15, 2015

Originally posted on SydneyPLUS blog 9/26/2014

In this second of two posts summarizing takeaways from this year’s ILTA SharePoint Symposium, I’ll focus on trends in cloud computing for SP users. “No doubt, cloud.” Microsoft’s cloud-first message for SharePoint and Office is clear. Although, “all in” is not a requirement – while new features will be delivered on Microsoft cloud platforms first, they are likely to be available via on-premise platforms second. *There was a loose Microsoft commitment to on-premise support, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Yes, the cloud is certainly gaining acceptance in law firm and corporate environments, no one doubts that. But there is still much caution with regard to implementing a cloud model for critical corporate/legal data sources – and we’ve heard that providers don’t expect us to do so quickly.

For those of us with heavy investments in on-premise line of business applications, some form of private or hybrid cloud support is more likely in our future. And yes, while options are many, clear paths (for most of us) are few.

So, what does this say about law firms’ cloud roadmaps? Well, from what we’ve heard, cloud migrations will be evolving. Private cloud, hybrid cloud and technology stack “as a service” apply private or public cloud models (or both) to Infrastructure-AAS, Platform-AAS, or Software-AAS.

According to Gartner, “nearly half of large enterprises will likely have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

These are far from turnkey migrations. Unless you have a significant event taking place (new firm creation, merger, relocation, data-center consolidation, corporate office relocation or other major development) chances are you’ll be growing into a cloud-based infrastructure versus starting fresh from the ground up.

There may be some near-term feature/function-based decisions to be made, though. Take for example, Microsoft OneDrive for Business. Have you actually seen what bolting on OneDrive for Business to SP2013 on-premises can do for you?? Whoa, do not dismiss it so quickly!

To put this all into perspective, stop for a minute and visualize your current in-house document workflow with regard to access, editing, sharing and collaboration. Now imagine how it works for remote users. Now, add a little something-something, like how it works on a non-Windows device like an iPhone or iPad. OK, got the picture? Wait, one more use case: remember how your attorneys access, track, share, and edit with their clients? OK, now you have a headache, sorry. I had to make sure you got the picture.

Install SP2013. Bolt on OneDrive for Business. Bamm! Done.

OK, there are some considerations with regard to storing and synchronizing files between SharePoint Server 2013 and workstations – maybe you needed a reason to upgrade to Office 2013, or already have an O365 sub, My Sites, and Win7 or 8.

Worth considering given: A) complex internal document sharing and synchronizing when at home or traveling. B) clunky extranet site provisioning, domain management, client user id or password email storms; and C) unintuitive, inefficient document access, editing and sharing with internal or external parties.

And coincidentally, the timing is about right too, huh? It’s all coming together – with BYOD access and real-time client collaboration expectations now the norm, along with increased availability of MDM tools – it’s nice when alignment works in our favor once in a while.

With SP2013 and OneDrive for Business, you’ll significantly streamline your internal team’s sharing and client document onboarding process, reduce IT administrative headaches, and put document editing, sharing, remote synching and collaboration in the right hands – in the hands of attorneys and client support teams.

Yes, we know, that’s where it should have been in the first place. 🙂

<a href="" target="_self">Marcus Liban</a>

Marcus Liban

Marcus Liban is a Lucidea knowledge management solution architect who works with national and multinational law firms, corporate legal departments, businesses and government entities. In his spare time, the San Francisco / Silicon Valley-based fisherman tinkers with his mid-1980s BMWs and unique woodworking projects.

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