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Podcast: Andy Wilson, Logikcull CEO, on Why the Cloud Is the New Electricity

December 9, 2019  |  4 min read

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Last week, Logikcull CEO and co-founder Andy Wilson joined Sharon Nelson and John Simek of Sensei Enterprises on their podcast, “Digital Detectives,” to discuss Thomas Edison and the law—or rather, how the revolution that Edison kicked off with the commoditization of electricity is being replicated again today, in the cloud.

If electricity was the driving force of 20th-century industry, the cloud is the generator of 21st-century innovation, automating complex tasks, elimination cost centers, and transforming industries—including the legal industry.

Listen to the entire conversation below or read on for a brief recap.


How Is the Cloud Reshaping the Practice of Law?

So, what do an electric dynamo in 1882 and legal practice on the cusp of 2020 have in common?

“The electricity revolution in the late 1800s and what we’re seeing with the cloud and the digital revolution in the 2000s share a lot of similarities,” Wilson explains. “If you think about it, electricity is always on demand, it’s self-service, it’s accessible from anywhere, location independent, scalable, priced on a consumption basis—and so is the cloud.”

In the 1800s, the commoditization of electricity led to a century of unsurpassed innovation. But pre-commoditization, electric power was cost-prohibitive and inefficient. Edison’s first generators, Wilson notes, cost $7.5 million in today’s dollars and could serve just 80 customers. That’s not too dissimilar to enterprise software just a decade ago, when such technology was insanely expensive, had to be installed and maintained, and required infrastructure and support staff. 

As the cloud has become commoditized, that’s no longer the case.

Today, incredibly powerful software can be accessed and implemented almost instantly, without any of the overhead that once defined it.

That is spurring unprecedented innovation across virtually every industry. “As technology becomes cheaper, innovation goes up,” Wilson notes. And with the power and scalability of the cloud, organizations are transforming the way work is done.

The cloud is also the solution to a problem the cloud has helped create: the absolutely massive growth of data available for discovery and investigations. “We’re all getting more emails, more text messages,” Wilson says. “People are using Slack to communicate, in conjunction with email.”

“The junk is much easier to find than the evidence. The evidence is going to be bespoke to the matter at hand, but the junk is a constant: the spam emails, the list serves, the receipts. If you can get rid of the junk, the evidence presents itself.”

That has led to an increasing imbalance between “signal,” the data that matters, and “noise,” the junk that does not. The noise is growing while the signal has remained largely constant.

“This is why we built our product,” Wilson explains.

Cloud technology is making it easier to cull out that noise and focus in on the documents that matter. And being able to identify that noise quickly and easily can significantly reduce the cost and difficulty of review.

The goal isn’t to instantly hone in on your evidence, Wilson explains. “It’s actually the opposite problem. It’s to find all the junk.”

“The junk is much easier to find than the evidence. The evidence is going to be bespoke to the matter at hand, but the junk is a constant: the spam emails, the list serves, the receipts. If you can get rid of the junk, the evidence presents itself.”

Where’s the Cloud Revolution Taking Place?

If the future is here, to steal a phrase, it’s still not distributed evenly. In the legal industry, many of the “first movers” embracing cloud-based technology are smaller offices. Larger law firms, as John Simek points out, face a “big ship problem”—as in “it’s harder to turn the big ship.”

Organizations that over-invested in past approaches to legal technology and eDiscovery, for example, may have built out incredibly expensive on-premises solutions, or become entirely dependent on outside vendors, or they may have a system so entrenched that they are simply unwilling to look at alternatives that could be advantageous. These law firms, Wilson explains, “might not even see that this is a problem yet, but it will be before they know it.”

"There’s probably never been a better time to be a small law firm than today, mainly due to the innovation that’s happening in the cloud.”

In some ways, those organizations just now looking for technological solutions to eDiscovery, can find themselves at a distinct advantage. They are not tied to the past processes and technology like their competition is and are thus well poised to take advantage of the new opportunities cloud-based technology is creating.

“Firms that see the opportunity to be bigger than they are, virtually, are going to do incredibly well. There’s probably never been a better time to be a small law firm than today,” Wilson says, “mainly due to the innovation that’s happening in the cloud.”

That doesn’t mean innovation is solely the realm of smaller, more nimble organizations.

There are, of course, many small and mid-sized firms now replacing manual processes with cutting-edge technology, for the first time.

There are also a host of large firms, some of the nation’s largest, diversifying their discovery approach to better allocate resources, making sure that high-cost, high-touch technology is reserved for those matters that need it, while employing lightweight but powerful tools on the day-to-day matters.

Finally, there are the corporate legal in-housing discovery and early case assessment for massive savings—changes that are reshaping how litigation is done today.


And that’s just the first fifteen minutes. Check out the full podcast to see how the cloud is challenging vendor- and consultant-based businesses, freeing up resources, and letting lawyers pursue their dreams of mountain living.