Three Inside Tips for Navigating the IT Supplier Ecosystem to Maximize Your Law Firm’s Technology Budget

David Cram | April 14, 2020

Perhaps now more than ever, technology is critical to law firms’ businesses, even as the threat of an economic downturn makes it particularly important for firms to manage IT costs. In-depth reviews of multiple law firm IT environments have shown a tendency for many to rely on their IT suppliers — including the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the value-added resellers (VARs) from whom they purchase hardware, software and services — when they need external advice on design and configuration (not to mention optimal pricing) for the products and services they need. If this describes your firm, you may inadvertently be inviting the fox to guard the henhouse.

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Five IT Lessons Learned by Law Firms During Work-From-Home Transition

Matt Gillis | April 09, 2020

The U.S. legal industry headed into March with a full head of steam, aside from some growing concerns about a novel coronavirus that appeared to be spreading. By the end of the month, our very way of life in America had been turned upside down and organizations from every business sector have been forced to change the way they do business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Legal’s Pressing Opportunity to Advance the New Normal: Strategic Focal Points

Bobbi Basile | April 06, 2020

“Wherever there is change, and wherever there is uncertainty, there is opportunity!”– Mark Cuban

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A Clear Vendor Governance Strategy Can Help Law Firms Weather an Economic Downturn

Lee Garbowitz | April 03, 2020

As we face the prospect of an economic downturn, firms are looking at ways to best position themselves. A centralized, clear vendor governance strategy that aligns with the firm’s strategic direction can aid in responding to economic turbulence. Vendor governance can help a firm readily identify operational costs for reduction, minimizing the impact on profits, and sustain those cost savings during an economic downturn.

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Alternative Legal Service Providers: How are Law Departments Using Them?

Lauren Chung | March 23, 2020

The 2019 HBR Consulting Law Department Survey found that corporate law departments are shifting their focus to adopting innovative legal service delivery practices, such as the increased use of other service providers, including alternative legal service providers (ALSPs). For those who use those, spending increased by 11% in 2019.

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Essential Questions Law Firm Leadership Should Ask When Preparing for a Remote Workforce

Erik Schmidt | March 13, 2020

As the economic and social disruption caused by current events continues to mount, law firms and other organizations are beginning to temporarily close offices and require employees to work remotely. The current situation is a reminder of the issues that firms should evaluate when planning for business continuity: its business needs, its users’ needs, and what is required from the IT staff and network to support those needs. Following are some questions firm leadership should ask itself and the firm’s IT organization when planning for business continuity in the event of a situation like we now face.

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Law Firm Libraries Find Their BLISS as Strategic Business Partners

Lauren Odom | March 06, 2020

Since 2016, HBR has surveyed law firm library leadership to gain insights into the current state of library operations, including staffing, tools and budget priorities. In 2019, HBR launched the Benchmarking + Legal Information Services Survey (BLISS), providing, for the first time, the ability to segment the data and identify the most relevant information via an interactive dashboard. Not only does the survey provide benchmarking information against which individuals can track their progress, it also yields insights into overall direction as we enter a new decade.

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Five IT-Related Risks for Law Firms to Prioritize in 2020

Matt Gillis | February 25, 2020

Law firms face a wide range of risks associated with the information technology (IT) operations in their firms. The most obvious tech-related risks are cybersecurity threats and business continuity needs in the event of an IT infrastructure outage. These are indeed high-stakes risks that are deserving of the news headlines and conference keynote addresses in recent years.

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Three Proactive Ways to Combat the Insidious Nature of Contract Risk

Lauryn Haake | February 24, 2020

I was privileged to present on the topic of contract risk at the recent 2020 LegalWeek, along with Lee Matthews of Wolters Kluwer, one of HBR’s technology partners. The presentation centered around the types and sources of contract risk and how to combat them.

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Five Ways that Midsized Law Firms Benefit from Partnering with an Expert for Disaster Recovery as a Service

Josh Wheeler | January 29, 2020

Law firms of all sizes require solid and stable technology services that power their day to day operations, but that can be challenging for midsized law firms that lack the massive global resources, technical expertise, and financial capital of the world’s largest firms. An unexpected outage that causes disruption of any kind within the IT ecosystem – whether it be a major weather event, a cybercrime incident or something as simple as a hardware failure – can paralyze a midsize law firm and cause disastrous financial impacts, not to mention the damage it likely will cause to the firm’s reputation and client trust.

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