If you were asked which three developments most dramatically altered the legal landscape, what would you answer? The Code of Hammurabi? The Magna Carta? How about the iPad? The results of our 2013 ‘Apple In Law Offices’ survey show that may not be too far off the mark.
Our annual survey, detailing the usage of products made by Apple in law firms across North America, shows exactly how far the influence of Cupertino extends in the legal industry.
Our 2013 survey saw a marked increase in Apple adoption, with a 10% leap in both office Mac OS usages (from 56 to 66%), and iPad usage (from 57% to 67%), with iPhone usage spiking 12% to 74% (while Android and Blackberry both saw decreases in law firm usage compared to global adoption rates). Why the dramatic increase? Coupled with a number of exciting product releases and OS updates, 52% of respondents stated they chose Apple options because the technology was more reliable and secure, with Usability coming in next at 28%.
Familiarity due to home use of Apple/Mac products was 10%, and aesthetics and design climbed back up to the 3% mark set 2 years ago. In the 3 years since the iPad debuted on the market, legal services penetration has risen from the initial 10% of product launch to an incredible 67% within 3 years. A demand for a mobile workforce and an industry that never sleeps has both been driving factors in iPad adoption, as well as a proliferation of offerings and apps targeted at improving law firm productivity and efficiency.
2013 was also the year cloud services came into their own in the legal sector, with each respondent averaging 2 cloud services used. Dropbox topped the charts in terms of cloud adoption with 26% of respondents saying they use the storage service, with everyone’s favorite cloud-based practice management system coming in next at 21%. iCloud and Google Apps rounded out the cloud solutions list at 18% and 14%, respectively.
The rapid adoption of mobile devices, including, but not limited to Apple devices, presents a new challenge for firms looking to ensure data security. If you’re allowing employees to utilize their own devices (because, really, who wants to foot the bill for employee iPads?), it’s highly recommended firms implement a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy.
BYOD policies are a necessity to ensure that data on mobile devices remain secure in the event a device is lost or stolen, because the only thing worse than losing an iPad is losing an unsecured iPad chock-full of sensitive client data. Clio’s survey results show that Apple devices and cloud services continue to be the two defining characteristics driving the legal technology renaissance.
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