"For those of you still wondering what the latest trends are in
electronic legal platforms, application service providers (ASP) are
the next hot thing. ASPs rent software to users over the Web, and
in the legal profession, there are at least a dozen products
available. They range from time and billing (www.elite.com), to
ligitation support (www.casecentral.com) to case management
"The beauty of ASPs is that there is no need to reinvent
yourself every year with a new version of your product. Software
companies love the application service provider (ASP) business
model because it generates recurring income. Legal professionals
love the ASP model because of easier maintenance and upgrades, plus
universal access to data. With both sides in love with the concept,
the rush toward the ASP model is unprecedented."
"But the unasked question is: "What do we need to be thinking
about to keep this love affair from becoming a train wreck?"
Three issues scream for attention: security, availability, and
functionality. How secure is the data? How available is the data?
Can a browser-based application have all the functionality of the
current generation of Windows applications?"
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