Whilst in the computer world Cloud and Hybrid CLOUD have their meanings in the legal software world there are fully CLOUD based Practice Management solutions and those we deem of a hybrid nature.
The browser based CLOUD products invariably offer accounting software only and do not at this stage offer browser based complex WORD precedent documents. This is because bandwidth over the Internet gets heavily utilised with legal documents of large size and can be very slow. Vendors are working at content and rewriting of their precedents for use of WORD in a browser.
Many products still use local drives to process these document and write the results back (synchronise) to a Server in the Cloud.
We reference those as hybrid CLOUD solutions.
Other solutions rely on dedicated Servers in the Cloud but these are simply hosted options using their I.T. providers off premise infrastructure.
These systems are still normally operating with Client/ Server architecture similar to a local area network environment. The only real difference is the Server is not in the law office.
There are some big moves in the browser delivery of Microsoft Word processing and watch this space for changes to the above early in 2017.
The Microsoft Office 365 cloud solution with its iterations is very popular and over 70% of our clients have indicated they will move in this direction for their email, office and generic but broader collaborative software solution over the next 12 months.