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Strategic Sourcing – The Number One IT Skill Set For Law Firms

October 14, 2014

In any strategy discussion with any manager, partner or IT professional in any law firm, the term “outsourcing” will be immediately met with a range of objections as well as examples and reasons why its not good for them.

Gently pointing out that their existing hardware is fixed for them by a third party or that their router estate is remotely managed stops the tirade for a while.

So let’s talk about strategic sourcing – which is just outsourcing, but lets use this new acceptable term.

Why Is Strategic Sourcing Number One? – The Rationale

So, you want to make your IT better than it is? Acknowledging that IT is now more important than ever in gaining new clients and delivering legal services to existing ones – if you don’t make your IT service better, you can bet that your competitors are looking to make theirs better than yours.

Let’s look at where you want your IT service to be in 12-18 months time – in other words how will it be better than it is now. Maybe you want better mobility for fee earners, maybe better collaboration with clients, maybe faster, more agile introduction of new systems – perhaps all of the above and more.

Planning that out, depending on where you are seeking improvements, then you need to consider some, most or all of the following:

  • infrastructure improvements (server, desktop, laptop, smartphone , operating system ,dbms, tools, etc) and of course the cloud
  • applications upgrades and implementations – analytics, process streamlining, collaboration systems…
  • improved processes (system management, service management, portfolio management, DR, security etc)
  • organisational questions – new skills, new approaches, new methodologies
  • governance – if it is going to be better, how will I know when it is.

To establish the plan you now need (for each of infrastructure, applications, process,  people and governance) to consider the design of the new target, the creation or ‘build’ of the new capability, the transition from existing to new and the operation of the new world.

A matrix – if you like – and in each cell of the matrix you need to consider who will do this, when will they do it, how will they do it and how much will it cost. This is all of the input required to establish the strategic plan to create the IT capability that you need.

A £20M turnover law firm might have seven IT staff – often at full stretch just to keep the lights on.

And this is where strategic sourcing comes in and why it is essential – you just cant do it all yourself!

In any strategic consideration of any IT capability whether the creation of new or operation of existing, it is essential that you consciously include the option of using specialist, sometimes niche, providers to make IT the very best it can be.

Strategic IT Sourcing – Absolutely Essential For Law Firms

You want to make your IT as good as it can be within the limits of your budget, you need to systematically change in order to improve, you don’t have all of the skills in house – then strategic sourcing is the only answer.

Whether you need somebody to design your ‘go to’ infrastructure, or build and transition up to date ITIL processes or to manage the day to day operation of your mobile estate – you need to make decisions about where you can use specialist help to make the IT service the best it can be.

 

Mark.fawdon@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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From → Outsourcing, Strategy

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