Friday, October 5, 2012

Court Technology Forecast: Cloudy

The E-Courts 2012 conference will have a session on Cloud Computing in the courts.  But the subject is not a simple one.


One of the sessions at this year’s E-Courts 2012 Conference (December 10-12) will be on two court’s real world experience with Cloud Computing.  The speakers will be Mr. Sunny Nemade, Chief Information Officer for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Florida and Mr. Alan Crouse, Deputy CEP for Technology and Facilities at the California Superior Court in San Bernardino County.  Their session will describe their efforts and lessons learned in implementing “cloud” E-mail and other services in their courts.

Earlier in the year Alan and Indiana Courts CIO, Bob Rath presented an online program on Email in the Cloud to the CITOC group (yet another good reason to join BTW).  In that presentation they noted that there are three Cloud Service Models.  They are:
And they noted that there are four Cloud Deployment Models:
  • Public
  • Private
  • Hybrid
  • Community
A good overview of the Cloud Computing Architectural Framework is provided by the Cloud Security Alliance organization.

Both of their Email system implementations are Software as a Service (Saas) in a Public Cloud.  This is an increasingly popular approach as the cost of maintaining E-mail services is growing as both demands for access with all manner of devices, 24/7/365 operation, and the cost of maintaining adequate spam and malware protection increases.

Cloud type services have also become very popular in government IT as a way to consolidate hardware and services costs.  This is possible because of relatively inexpensive computer server hardware but more important, advances in system virtualization.

I personally use many cloud services.  The Court Technology Bulletin blog that you are currently reading is hosted by Google and when I have documents to share I post them to Google “Drive” ( which recently changed its name from “Docs”) to share.  Many projects use Cloud E-mail such as Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, and Yahoo Mail.  And there is also wide use of cloud backup services such as Carbonite, Mozy, IDrive, Dropbox, and many others.  Wikipedia has a chart of online backup services that is a good starting point for your research.

Cloud computing is here and should be factored into your information technology plans.


  1. Great article James! I came across your blog while I was reading up on cloud backup and I'm happy I did because this was very informative. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Thanks for a great read. As Steve Jobs has said : “Innovation is what separates leaders from followers.” ...