If you’re like me, you can only absorb and assimilate so much change at one time. I think that’s one reason lawyers often stick with old – or even completely outdated – software. Even more than we dislike the “unnecessary” expense of the upgrade we hate the disruption having to learn something new causes in our already over-full days. But if your firm is still using an older version of Microsoft Office (and by older I mean 2007 or its predecessors) it really is time you thought about upgrading. While the number of Office permutations available has made deciding how to proceed a little daunting, the flexibility those options offer – especially to solos and small firms – makes it worth your while to sort out the options.
Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association has written an excellent article entitled Office 365: Big-Firm Function, Small Firm Budget that sorts out what’s available and what it costs, and will help you decide what combination of downloaded software and cloud-based services is right for you. The article also covers Hosted Exchange options that will allow small firms to reap the benefits while avoiding the expense of hosting their own Exchange Server, and it even points out potential problems, such as the need to keep your Office and Adobe Acrobat versions in line in order to avoid interoperability issues.