Collaboration platforms should be tablestakes for law firms.

I’ve had a draft post sat around for a couple of months and I thought I’d have a stab at finishing it tonight. It was prompted by a statement I saw in a tweet from July (I think). It stated “Collaboration platforms that allow client access will become table stakes within a few years among leading law firms”. Continue reading

The gamification of legal.

There’s a trend out there in business called gamification, and I can see it making an impact in Legal IT. Well maybe not tomorrow but someday.! What is gamification and how could it improve the use of technology inside a law firm and what could it mean for law firms clients?

Gamification is defined Continue reading

Technology – The IT departments achilles heal.

In my opinion change needed and needed fast. It’s time *IT professionals forgot about the technology (to begin with) and focussed on people and culture, over delivering the shiniest and latest technology. Technology is no longer the silver bullet to issues and problems as business’s have evolved, and thanks to the consumerisation of IT, people (outside of IT) are dramatically more IT savvy than they used to be.

Sound harsh?  Continue reading

IT Projects : Are they all destined to fail?

As harsh as it sounds, it is a valid question for many IT departments. The short answer is no, not all projects fail but these days a successful delivery doesn’t always prevent failure. Failure can mean different things to different people and can come at different times, which makes it difficult to validate whether something has succeeded or not. For the purpose of this post a brief definition of failure could be along the lines of;

“the failure to deliver the intended business benefits or value through the provision of a new service or process”

Continue reading

IT Marketing and Communications officer – The internal salesman?

I was reading a post by Simon May (@simonster) called the new heroes of the next gen IT dept.. and I wondered who currently fulfilled the IT Marketing and communications role in your IT dept? I know the post covers three roles but I’m only focusing on the last one.

Well does it sound familiar? Do you have a dedicated role to fulfill this responsibility? I’m guessing the simple answer is no. I’m sure there are people in various teams who fulfil the parts of the role but there is no single point of responsibility. Continue reading

Should Legal IT departments be innovative?

I was thinking the other day about Legal IT and who was going to define its future? It got me thinking about innovation in LegalIT and what our 3 main customers expect. They are each with their own requirements and needs, so do law firms, the lawyers and the law firms clients expect IT departments to be innovative?

A broad definition of what innovation is; “Innovation is the improving of an existing product, service, system or process and the introduction of something better.”

Continue reading

Word 2010 – Legal Document co authoring… Close but not quite yet.

It’s on many firms horizon and a Win7 desktop with Office 2010 is a great project to get your teeth into. Especially considering all of the good stuff Microsoft have put into both. Considering how poorly Vista was received in the business world there seems to have been a great deal of effort on the part of Microsoft to re-engage with the corporate world.

From a legal perspective we are generally not too fussy about the bells and whistles (so we say) and our business output is traditionally a ‘document’. Our internal document collaboration is normally hindered by parallel accessibility, so I was really interested to read more about co-authoring of documents. This ultimately prompted me to write this very high level take on the functionality. Continue reading

Win XP to Win7 – The continuation

This follows a very useful starter for 10 list of considerations when moving from WinXP to Win7. The link to the article is here and the author is a another BA in a law firm. You can follow him via twitter @LegalBA

Windows 7 and Office 2010 is a good opportunity to think strategically and not just treat it like another project. It could be a good point to think about some of the key points Andrew mentions like security and applications but also the delivery of IT services in general. My top 6 things to think about when discussing going from WinXP to Win7 (Office 2010) project.

1 – Deployment of your Win7 desktop. Think about VDI – It’s hard to ignore it…

Virtualisation of servers and storage is something many firms have done or is on the immediate road map. VDI was a step behind but it is getting harder to argue against the reasons for going VDI
a) One size doesn’t fit all. Expect to virtualize 80% of your users
b) Choose the delivery mechanism well and you will be able to provide your services to mobile devices, tablets, pc and laptops even if they are not owned by the firm (allows the firm to reduce it hardware overhead perhaps by offering an allowance to staff to buy their own kit)~
c) Cheaper to deploy – no big teams gallivanting across the globe for weeks on end
d) Energy savings can be leveraged unlike some/most server virtualisation projects
e) Costs savings. Most firms replace pc’s in line with the standard 3 years warranty levels but delivery of a VDI means you can extend your old kit’s life expectancy
f) Reduce the build maintenance overhead. Have 1 (or minimum) image for all rather than 40 different images for 40 different hardware types Continue reading