June 30th, 2021
Our Journey to Integrate Data into Law Concludes – With A World of Virtual Modeling
Our Journey to Integrate Data into Law Concludes. I began our journey from isolated, siloed use of data in legal towards a new end of not just analytics and prediction, but virtual modeling by describing the single source of truth for legal organizations. I then covered how process provides a way to transform legal work. That brought us to where we can start to drive more advanced business processes such as analytics. Now we conclude that journey with the ultimate stage for all business stakeholders – of which legal is no exception – where we can put virtual models to work to not just predict, but to truly understand the future.
Making the Data Connection
Before we get to virtualization, I want to make sure that everyone understands that it requires the right data infrastructure. A lot of people don’t realize that SalesForce, our back-end platform for Advologix, unbundled their application and development runtime environment back in 2008. That that means there’s a wealth of applications that are available to run in that application Cloud. If you already have internal expertise with SalesForce platform, that’s directly leverage-able into that entire other family of applications, so it’s a pretty smooth and rapid transition.
Moreover, the best thing about being on such a universally-accepted platform like SalesForce is that the data model is shared: when you share one contact it is the same contact throughout every system that you and everyone else might be using. Thus, there’s a lot of synergies already having familiarity with that platform.
Phase 4: Virtualization
In my prior blog posts I talked about systems of record and getting data in context. I talked about getting your teams together and optimizing automating process and workflow. I went through the area of data analytics. Now you’re collecting data over time. You’re growing volumes of data. Now you can analyze it and start looking even deeper into how to how to better service your clients’ process, matter, cost, structures, outcomes, etc.
Where we eventually all find ourselves is with the ability to utilize artificial intelligence to do predictions and simulation. This Brave New future might be here sooner than you think.
The best analogy I can think of is if you’re old enough to remember Apollo 13. If not, by the way, you can just watch the Tom Hanks movie. As everyone knows – especially Houston – Apollo had a problem halfway between the Earth and Moon. The problem resolution method back then was to dump a bunch of spare parts on the floor next to an exact copy mechanical model of the spacecraft and sit there and work out simulations.
Well today they don’t do that at NASA. If you look at the Perseverance Lander on Mars, NASA has an entirely digital twin and they run simulations on that digital twin to predict outcomes. Every potential action, every potential option, every potential outcome can be thoroughly analyzed before anyone or anything gets launched into space.
The legal industry is moving in the same direction. Data is going to be critical for understanding outcomes in the future. We are building out the historical context for that data as we speak. We will be able to do simulations on different models. What might be the outcome based on simulating different ways to handle complex matters? It’s evolving quite rapidly, but you can take a very small first step by working with your current systems and consolidating those – again all to create that system of record, that single point of truth from which you can start.
But What About Security?
I do want to make sure to end this journey by bringing up the all-important issue of Security. First, however, I want to preface that with the statement that Security is an incredibly huge topic and that I could write many separate blog posts on just that topic alone. Maybe I will?
The modern Cloud platforms today, of which SalesForce is one, are known as enterprise Platform As A Service. That sounds kind of mysterious, even more so when we just dump it into a techie acronym like PaaS. Yet the Cloud is nothing mysterious; it’s running something – an app, an environment, whatever – not on your own internal computer systems, but on computers in someone else’s data center. The Cloud is all about the ability to staff, procure, deploy, maintain and manage the latest in hardware, software, security systems alerts, event tracking, etc. Oh, and to do it at massive scale. That massive scale carries over into massive savings, but also something even more important (and even more massive): safety.
So the long story short is that these platforms are incredibly secure. Cloud-based platforms allow you to control access to data down to the field level. They come with very highly secure transmission and storage of data and as well as access control encryption. These systems have been tested over and over and over, with thousands of top Security personnel working around the clock to protect them.
The other thing about these environments is that they are there transparent. If there is an outage, a downtime, a maintenance of the SalesForce platform, It’s publicly listed and you can subscribe to those alerts. You’ll know exactly when it happens. You’ll have an estimated restore time. This is transparency that you can tell your clients about. Organizations typically don’t have the kinds of resources to create that level of transparency internally, let alone publish that information. Neither do all but the largest organizations have the level of resources available to protect their systems.
So, don’t fear the Cloud. Fear what can happen outside the Cloud.
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