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Optimising Legal IT – My Response To A Post On Legal IT Professionals

April 5, 2013

I read a column on Legal IT professionals today talking about how to make maximise the success of your legal IT department.

I posted my response and thought I’d include it here as well.

The original piece is here

My response was aligned to a previous post in this blog albeit a condensed version.

Hi, to be devil’s advocate, I’ll raise your three to five!

Excellent IT in the legal sector isn’t hugely different to excellent IT in the beans making industry. It’s about supporting efficient and effective business process and helping to drive new business through customer relationships and interaction. Doing these things better than your competitors drives revenue and reduces cost.

My five keys are:

Building infrastructure with sufficient capacity and resilience. Make sure that your networks, servers and desktops are designed to allow the applications/services to run with the required availability and performance.

Maintaining an applications landscape that covers all of your business processes, is up to date and properly deployed and understood across your business.  You must have the right applications and you need to be able to deploy new ones quickly as and when your business changes shape.

Active management of the systems (infrastructure and apps) and the service.  A good starting point is to use the 27 ITIL processes as a checklist – it is essential that you proactively manage the technology ecosystem and that you have clear processes for whenever the service breaks, a user wants some new equipment and to prioritise the workload coming ‘over the wall’.

Optimise your resourcing strategy. Not everything is done in house – be clear on what you will do in house and what will be done externally. For in house operations be sure you have the required skill base and that all tasks and projects are properly managed.

Manage your third parties actively – the squeaky wheel always gets the grease! 

Take these five – infrastructure, application set, system & service management processes, resource management and third parties – and drill down in each area and you will quickly move towards excellence.

This is exactly how Dave Brailsford made UK cycling the best in the world – by the aggregation of marginal gains.

See my blog for more on this.

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