Cloud control: Patrick Hurley at Thomson Reuters Elite discusses

What always happens to me a week after I get a new phone?

The next-generation version is announced. It’s always infinitely better and cooler, with a whole host of new features and revolutionary technologies I would just love to have. But no – I’m gonna be stuck with this embarrassing, already old-fashioned piece of kit for the next two years until my contract renews again.

Of course, some people opt to shell out the extra £500, £900, or whatever – it’s always exorbitant – to upgrade to the new model when it is released, but I just can’t bring myself to do that. And so, I suffer in frustration and shame. I have a US-based colleague who, when we are in meetings together and I pull out my old phone, invariably remarks on how “cute and tiny” it is, as she scrolls leisurely across her sleek, modern, beautiful marvel of telephonic wonder.

No matter how we plan, how long we procrastinate, or how well we forecast, there’s always a newer version coming. Nowhere is this more true than in the business of on-premises legal technology. Even products with incredibly long lifespans, such as Elite Enterprise had (30 years-plus), or indeed 3E (which I predict may last even longer than that, owing to its virtually future-proof architecture), are continually being updated with new features, functionality and user interfaces. This fact of the world we live in presents a constant conundrum for law firms. Which version should we go live on? Which version should we upgrade to? If we want to go live on date X, but a new release comes out on date Y, is there time to test, absorb, document and train on the new version?

This article was first published in the September 2019 issue of Briefing 'Hot data'.

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