As I read in CFO, Nov. 2010 at 41 about apps, I conjured up a cornucopia of them for matter management software. The article said that “people increasingly prefer that information and communications capabilities be available at the touch of a button rather than at the end of the Web search.” If providers of matter management systems and e-billing systems make available their application program interfaces (API), at least to my uninformed mind it would be possible for third parties to develop useful and inexpensive (or even free) apps. This might drive information technology staff crazy but it could greatly improve the ability of such software to make a real difference to lawyers in their everyday work.
User groups or collectives of departments might fund the development of apps or law departments might create their own in a variation on customized software. Whether law departments will harness the full power of such program-dependent, proprietary nuggets of functionality is very much an open question.