Cloud computing was one of the hottest topics of 2009. Can a lawyer be comfortable with a third party hosting confidential client data? We decided to attempt to shed some light on the subject with our December Digital Edge podcast Cloud Computing for Lawyers. Sharon Nelson and I asked Erik Mazzone, practice management advisor for the North Carolina Bar Association and Ben Schorr  of Roland, Schorr and Tower to join us to discuss the cloud computing, with Ben taking the role of the cloud curmudgeon and and Erik acting as the cloud champion. It was a very interesting discussion.

Click here to listen to the podcast. Here's the home page for the podcast with some links to articles on the topic and, if you are unfamiliar with the Digital Edge podcast series, here are the podcast archives.

The Clio blog did a nice review of our podcast. Of course, this is their business, so we understand their interest. It is certainly a nice post and they have an interesting product. One interesting event after we recorded the podcast was the publication of "A Case for Operating in the Cloud"on where James C. Nolan, a diehard cloud computing evangelist, made the case for cloud computing with statements like "as an IT person in your firm, your most important mission is to get your firm to move to the cloud." After Ben Schorr read that article, he had to respond by tapping on his virtual microphone and asking "Hello? Is This Thing On?" as he took issue with virtually every point in Nolan's article. I hope you take the time to read these articles.

Those of us who have spent years following technology trends recall when something a lot like cloud computing was called ASP and it was touted as the new greatest thing. We also recall the fear when clients of a company called Red Gorilla learned that the company had abruptly ceased operations and they could not access their business data. Having said that though, in my opinion, the cloud computing model may well be the future of law office technology, and for many lawyers, the future is now. We will certainly be hearing a lot more about cloud computing during 2010.