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Top Five IT Challenges For Law Firms In 2013

January 9, 2013

So here is my first post!

Beginning of a new year – it seems traditional to predict the key focus areas in the coming twelve months.

Here are my top five:

  1. Mobility – This is a huge challenge which encompasses, but is not restricted to, BYOD, iPad, tablets etc. Increasingly lawyers want to work outside of office hours, using a range of devices (personal and the firm’s) and accessing both internal and ‘free to air’ applications. Framing and then delivering the IT service in this ‘new world’ is the key challenge IT organisations face today.
  2. Outsourcing Everybody has been talking about the cloud for some time now. But the cloud is really just some sophisticated outsourcing models using the newer technologies such as virtualisation and the internet. Given that outsourcing is often thought to be ‘counter cyclical’ with under pressure finance directors reluctantly looking to outsourcing for guaranteed cost reductions and taking that alongside the growing acceptance of cloud computing – I expect a number of outsourcing deals to come through in 2013.
  3. SecurityCertainly not my area of expertise.  However, when considering that banks have large teams, significant investments and deep specialisms in this area – and still get hit – then the more generalist IT teams in legal firms may well leave some holes in their defences. I would not be surprised if there are some high profile attacks this year.
  4. Blackberry – I rarely come across anyone who believes that Blackberry will survive in the medium to long term.  However it also rare to hear of wholesale replacement strategies against the heavily embedded Blackberry estates. It seems to me that the pressure is building and once one or two move then the momentum will build ahead of an avalanche. It will be interesting to see how much movement there will be in this arena this year.
  5. Sales Applications – Having only arrived in the legal industry in the past two years, it still seems strange to me how we all continue to talk about ‘business development’ rather than sales and how sales strategies and pipeline management are still comparatively rare. It’s all well and good having great lawyers but unless you go out and actively sell your services then that capability will be twiddling their thumbs. The legal industry seems to be last to come to this acceptance – pretty much all other professional services businesses have already made this jump.  I expect sales to be a focus and IT will need to come to the party by creating an integrated set of applications that manage the sales lifecycle (this will include existing CRM and Social Media services).

I expect to come back to each of these topics in later posts but in the meantime I’d really like to hear your views.

Thanks for reading this first post!

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From → Strategy

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