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September 30, 2008


James Williams

I think the economic downturn will fuel SaaS uptake. Enterprises have always been wary about SOA and it's understandable. But as soon as enough people start using SaaS, they're going to be forced into the same SOA in order to remain competitive.

Jack Newton

You make some good points here Rick.

I'd also agree with James that the economic downturn will help fuel SaaS update. I think the lower up-front costs associated with SaaS as compared to traditional desktop software would be especially compelling in an economic downturn.

Your suggestion of asking vendors some key "screening questions" is certainly a good one. One benefit of traditional desktop software is that you always have a local copy of the software and your data. Even if the original provider of the software has gone out of business, you can still access (and hopefully export) your data.

At Clio, we've tried our best to address the concerns surrounding data longevity and accessibility with a SaaS offering. Lawyers have a feduciary duty to ensure their data will be accessible to them even if the host of that data experiences some type of failure (business, natural disaster, or otherwise) that results in the data becoming unavailable.

Our solution is twofold. First, we allow users to continuously, securely, and freely export their data from Clio. Second, we provide escrow services for our customer's data. Our customer's data will be continuously be backed up to a secure, independent escrow provider. In the unlikely event Clio should fail, due to natural disaster, business interruption, or otherwise, your data will continue to be accessible, provided you can produce the appropriate credentials demonstrating data ownership, via the escrow provider.

We think this goes a long way to helping address the legitimate concerns surrounding data security and accessibility in a SaaS context.

We're also just starting off a three-part post on data availability, security and privacy at www.goclio.com/blog.

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Lawyer,Poet, author, educator. Practices real property, corporation, wills, trusts and estates law in Pinellas County, Florida. Writes the FutureLawyer column. Gives seminars on technology and the law. Author of "Life is Simple, Really", Poems about Life, Loving, Family and Fun, and "Poems For Lovers".

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