SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

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LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

3

SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015 index

Introduction from the report’s editor

4

Report method

5

Comment from DPS Software on the results

6

Legal IT Landscapes 2015 report

7

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

Introduction to the report

Three years ago, we ran a little survey about legal IT, and it was rather
successful. So we thought we’d try it again in 2014, but this time make it
much broader, and try to cover firms outside the top 100. I’d like to say
thank you to everyone who completed the survey – especially as it ran to
over 90 questions, which is a lot. I hope you enjoy the range and detail that
this commitment from our respondents gives you in the report.
The results of the SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015 report should drive some
debate. Whether that’s around our results on whether legal IT leaders think cloud is the future
(the answer for SME firms appears to be a cautious ‘yes’), other results have also provoked
debate. I hope you’ll add your thoughts to the debate – by all means email me if you don’t
want to ‘take to Twitter’...
Fundamentally, it appears that legal businesses are finally getting it. Behind the scenes,
competitive pressure and the recession have reset the IT ambitions in legal.
The appetite for mobility and related technologies appears to be off the scale. Firms across
the board know they need more, better and broader-based management information from
which to draw strategic conclusions and to set pricing and profitability goals. And the need for
better workflow, automation and process systems is now top of mind in the industry.
But there is still a way to go. Our results show that top 100 firms spend on average 4.2% of
revenue on IT (there were some that spent 8-10%, so you can imagine the other numbers).
Though this metric isn’t one I’d use alone, and it puts law firms squarely alongside other
professional services businesses (according to Gartner), many would say that legal businesses
should be spending more, to innovate and build competitiveness. Let me put that 4.2% figure
in context, too: education, media and entertainment, and banking and financial services all
spend more – banking’s spend on IT as a percentage of revenue is 6.3%.
SME legal management leaders might blame many things for this, but one is the way their
businesses are run – 90% of respondents said that the partnership model holds firms back
from investing enough in IT (and no one disagreed). Legal management leaders can change a
lot in their businesses, but that is a grander challenge.
I hope you find SME LITL 2015 useful and informative, and as interesting to read as I have
found it to research and analyse. Enjoy.
Rupert Collins-White, head of content, Legal Support Network | rupertw@lsn.co.uk

4

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

5

Thanks to the Legal IT Landscapes
sponsor who made this possible.
This is their take on the results
DPS Software represents several of the biggest
areas of either change or opportunity in legal
technology – cloud software and practice and case
management. These technologies allow for better
integration of information across the business,
analysing and understanding that information, and
freeing the firm’s people to work with that information
wherever they – and their clients – are. We’d like
to thank them for their involvement, and we asked
them to say a few words about the results that most
grabbed them.

Who, what, why
A short explanation of the survey
Legal Support Network conducted the SME LITL 2015
survey June/July 2014 using two online surveys, one
directly targeted and one promoted openly on the internet.
For this report we analysed responses from firms with
revenue of between £10m and £25m (roughly reflecting
the second hundred firms in the Lawyer’s top 200).
Sample size was 19 respondents representing 15 firms.

LITL 2015 respondents (second 100 segment): firm size

35%

51-200

65

%

About Legal Support Network
LSN is a publishing, media and events company wholly
2015 respondents
(second
segment):staff
firm size
focused onLITL
business
services
and100
support
in law
firms, whatever role they’re in.

201-500

LITL 2015 respondents (second 100 segment): role

5%

www.lsn.co.uk
IT

35%

51-200

65%

201-500

40%

55%

Operations or administration
(including practice management)
Other

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

Osman Ismail
Managing director, DPS Software
It was incredibly pleasing that Legal IT Landscapes confirms what
we’ve been advocating: the increased adoption of cloud computing
and of a more integrated, firm-wide IT system in legal business.
Law firms must generate, collect and analyse management
information better than before, and technology will play a vital part
in that. Fee earners need to be profit centres and, for this to work,
information needs to be provided in an intuitive and motivating
fashion. This is meant to encourage them to record time (if
appropriate), bill and also be aware of when the money for their bills is collected. This
information (translated into business intelligence) also enables the management to
reward overachievers and help underachievers to improve their performance. Reports
produced by a fully integrated practice management system empower everyone,
exposing the profitability of cases and fee earners, and enabling them to identify
problems and areas of improvements and make informed decisions.
It was interesting to learn about the technology solutions that SME law firm managers
believe will shape legal business in the next five years. Mobility scored high both in
terms of efficiency and competitiveness, confirming a trend that we’ve all recognised
– we increasingly do more work outside the office, and emails are answered on the
move and at odd hours of the day. It is also crucial to providing more flexible working
solutions. But the security implications this brings need to be addressed. Our managed
IT solution, DPSCloud, addresses this as a ‘holistic’ solution allowing a firm to outsource
their technology requirements, which include mobile working, security, disaster recovery
and business continuity.
Those surveyed perceive ‘cloud computing’ as a solution that will have “the biggest
impact on their firms’ competiveness”. I both agree and disagree with this. Cloud
computing alone helps a little – but cloud computing provided by a partner that knows
the legal business is more critical. As long-time advocates of this technology, we have
invested considerable resources in developing our managed IT solution (DPSCloud),
which provides all the software products that a firm will need, in the cloud.
And, while some law firms use case management systems in a very innovative manner,
others don’t use it at all, the report finds. This might seem surprising for a 21st-century
practice. However, this is the reality for many small law firms, since they rely on manual
work for most of their processes. But while some may still fail to adopt this wellestablished solution, it is nonetheless perceived as a driver of profitability and efficiency.
We invite you to peruse this report and explore its findings. Hopefully they will help you
to lay the foundations for a more prosperous and more agile
legal business in 2015.
Find out more about DPSCloud at www.dpscloud.com

6

vidn our
t

vidour
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LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

7

SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015
STRATEGY
What we talk about when we talk
The traditional
about
tech...partnership structure holds law
firms back from investing enough in IT

In LPM magazine, when we talk about technology
we often reference the need for law firms to have
Strongly agree
10% of their businesses,
better oversight
and a more
Agree
joined-up approach40
to%management
information
(or good management information at all). It’s good
Neither
%
to learn50
that
we’re on the same wavelength as
IT and practice managementDisagree
leaders in SME law
firms, because that’s what you say too, according
disagree
to our survey of managementStrongly
leaders
in firms with
between £10m-£25m revenue.
But to make the most out of information, you first
need to collect or generate it. According to our
The need for ERP-style systems such as SAP, 3E,
Legal
IT Landscapes
survey, IT
smaller
law
firms
LexisOne
or any other firm-wide
solution
is now
upon
us

firms
without
such
systems
will
not
be
properly
need to collect and analyse more management
competitive in three-to-five years.
The traditional
partnership
structure
holdsThis
law
information
to get
a competitive
edge.
firms back from investing enough in IT
information should come from across the whole
5%
business,
5% and firms need to more fully integrate
their IT systems to get theStrongly
value from
agreea more
Strongly agree
10%
joined-up approach.
30%
Agree
Agree
20%
40%
They don’t need this information
just to make
Neither
Neither
%
management
and strategy decisions – though, of
50
40%a big driver. Disagree
course, that’s
They
also need more
Disagree
and better management information that’s better
Strongly disagree
disagree
integrated and understood toStrongly
change
the way
they work to be more in line with the projectsand process-focused future that’s just around the
corner for legal business.
The need for ERP-style systems such as SAP, 3E,

What
kind of IT system they will need to do this is
LexisOne or any other firm-wide IT solution is now upon
clear,
andwithout
this is such
a keysystems
area about
SME firms
us – firms
will notwhich
be properly
competitive in three-to-five years.
have a different view of the IT they need than top
100 firms. Unlike their top 100 cousins, smaller
%favour
ow likely is your
firm,
do 5
you
think, to
firms
are
of adopt
using in the future some kind
% in
oud-based solutions5(by which we mean either true
of
IT
system
that
spans
the
whole business – in
oud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant
Strongly agree
ystems eg PMS,
CRM?
essence, a kind of%enterprise resource planning
30
Agree
system.
20%
%
30
Neither
This is in contrast to the top 100, which is split
% % on the need for such a firm-wide
down the middle
Disagree
4020
single system. This is intriguing – LPM’s sister
Strongly disagree
title, Briefing,
has been arguing
the merits (and
10%
10% 10%

Law firms in general need to collect and analyse more
management information to get the edge they need in
Does
your firm use
a dedicatedlegal
business
intelligence tool?
an increasingly
competitive
market.

Yes
Strongly agree

20%

35

%

30%
45%

70%

No,
we use reporting based on
Agree
spreadsheets
Neither
No, we use the built-in/pre-provided business intelligence tools in our
practice
or matter management
Disagree
systems
Strongly disagree

Law firms need to more fully integrate their various
Law firms will only be able to realise the true value of
systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
project and matter management tools and programmes if
management information that other businesses get from
they can get access to data across the whole of the
‘joined-up’
Law
firms insystems.
general need to collect and analyse more
business, rather than the traditional mix of
management information to get the edge they need in
practice/case/customer relationship management.
an increasingly competitive legal market.

5%

15%
30%%
35

60
55%%

30%

70%

Strongly agree
Strongly agree
Strongly agree
Agree
Agree
Agree
Neither
Neither
Neither
Disagree
Disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Strongly disagree
Strongly disagree

Law firms will only be able to realise the true value of
project and matter management tools and programmes if
they can get access to data across the whole of the
business, rather than the traditional mix of
practice/case/customer relationship management.

CLOUD

Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?
Strongly agree

15%

How likely is
cloud-based
cloud or hos
systems eg

Agree

50%
30%

55%

33%

Neither
Disagree

17%

Within the next 12 months

Strongly disagree

10% 10

Very like

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

8

STRATEGY
demerits) of such an outcome for years, because
many other businesses use such a thing. But
smaller firms really could benefit from a firm-wide,
single system, because a) it could be cloud based
Does your firm use a dedicated business intelligence tool?
and b) for smaller businesses the information
it gathers would be manageably ‘small’ (in
comparative
terms).
Yes
20%
35%
No, we use reporting based on
Why would legal businesses
want such a thing?
spreadsheets
Real integrated resources planning, for a start –
%
No, we
use themanagementbuilt-in/pre-providsurely
the future
project
45something
ed business intelligence tools in our
or matter
management
focused fee earner and practice
manager
will want.
Plus
systems
ERP would give that all-important firm-wide
management information base. What’s bad about
it? It’s expensive, and it requires (in the end) ripping
everything that you already have out.
Lawdon’t
firms need
more
fully
their
variouson the
You
needtoan
ERP
orintegrate
similar to
deliver
systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
positives of a true firm-wide system, of course –
management information that other businesses get from
you
can gosystems.
best-of-breed. But without it you will
‘joined-up’
likely have to build more things yourself. There are,
of course, many
good reasons to do that.
5%
Strongly
Either way, for now, the jury
is outagree
on the ‘how’ of
getting more and better management
information
Agree
%
for 35
legal businesses – but the ‘why’ is well
Neither
60%
accepted.

For now, the jury is
out on the ‘how’ of
The traditional partnership structure holds law
getting more and
firms back from investing enough in IT
better management
information for legal
Strongly agree
%
10businesses
– but
Agree
the ‘why’
is well
40%
accepted. Neither
50%
Disagree
Strongly disagree

The need for ERP-style systems such as SAP, 3E,
LexisOne or any other firm-wide IT solution is now upon
us – firms without such systems will not be properly
competitive in three-to-five years.

5%

5%
Strongly agree

30

%

20%

Agree
Neither

40%

Disagree
disagree
The change behind,Strongly
the change
ahead

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Technology should be a differentiator for legal
businesses. It should drive firms forward, and it
should help them achieve things that couldn’t be
achieved without it. It should enable the people
see inside the industry and beyond.
who work there, and help them to work together.
It should connect the business to its clients and
Some technologies haven’t gripped legal like
CLOUD
its supply chain (yes, law firms do have those). It
they have other industries – presence and unified
should make a legal business more efficient, more
comms, online delivery and self-service, social
Over what timescale do you you think your firm
How likely is your firm, do you think, to adopt
capable,
flexible
and to
more
profitable.
networking
realwe
business
intelligence
and
might
migratemore
significant
systems
the cloud?
cloud-based
solutionstools,
(by which
mean either
true
cloud orenterprise
hosted/managed
solutions)
for significant
resource
planning,
for example – but
systems eg PMS, CRM?
None of those things is ‘keeping the lights on’.
then, legal is different (though it’s not that different).
Legal IT %has moved far from that world, at least it
30% not be exactly like other businesses,
has in50
some firms. The next five years to 2020 will
Legal may
redraw the ways legal businesses work – at least
but we think it’s nowhere near as different as many
%
%
20believe.
33
that’s how we see it, based on much of what we
who lead it seem to
Of all the ‘differences’
17%

10% 10%

10%

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

people throw up – such as the partnership model,
the client, the nature of the work – none sets it
truly aside, functionally, from other businesses.
Perhaps what really marks legal out is its inherent
challenges, such as its seeming inability to produce
many businesses of real scale, or its oddities, such
as most firms’ revenue to employee ratio.
Many people who have to manage, buy and use
technology in legal know that their firms have
to change the way they work and deal with the
outside world to thrive in tomorrow’s economy, and
adopt the technologies of other kinds of business
to do it. In so doing, we think legal will rapidly,
possibly almost without realising it, leave behind its
feeling of great ‘difference’ and accept that it’s very
like other businesses, with a couple of interesting
twists.
Why? Because the technologies that legal IT
(and some other) leaders named as being most
useful in the future reflect a push by clients and
the world to work much more like they do. The
technologies that will be shaping law firms in
2015 and beyond are a mix of the known and the
(relatively) unknown, at least to the legal industry’s
main corpus.

Efficiency, meet competitiveness
A key pair of questions in the LITL survey this year
were:
Which technologies do you think will have the
biggest impact on how competitive your law firm is
over the next five years?
Which technologies do you think will have the
biggest impact on how efficient your law firm is
over the next five years?
We gave respondents empty text boxes into which
to put their answers – no suggestions given – and
what we got back was a map of the technologies
that legal business uses and needs to face the

9

challenges of tomorrow.
Three key areas were mentioned multiple times
by respondents in their first box – which we think
indicates that it’s a technology at the top of their
minds – both in the competitiveness and efficiency
questions. These technologies probably represent,
therefore, the main legal technologies to watch
in the SME legal space in the next five years:
mobility, workflow and/or automation, and business
intelligence (or analytics).
Several other technology areas also scored
very highly (mentioned by far more than one
respondent), and I think they’re worth adding to
that mix. On the ‘competitiveness’ side: cloud,
CRM and social media. On the ‘efficiency’ side:
integrated practice management, case/matter
management and unified communications.
Many readers of this report might think that those
technologies are already in play in the sector, and
they are – to an extent.
Workflow and automation tools are very much
top of mind in smaller legal firms, because they
remain a relatively ‘new’ technology that still has
enormous potential to radically alter a firm’s bottom
line. Many smaller firms still have many manual or
non-workflowed processes (if they see what they
do as process at all) and so there is a huge amount
to gain from embracing the world of workflow and
process.
What about business intelligence? Over a third of
our respondents said their firm is using dedicated
BI tools, but IT vendors would frown at the idea
that even that many SME firms are using business
intelligence tools in the sense that other businesses
might use them (real-time cubed information based
on business-wide warehoused data, for example).
Analytics, yes – but BI?
At least, however, those firms believe they’re using
sophisticated analysis tools. Almost a half (45%) of
our respondents said their firm still uses reporting

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

Technologies best for
competitiveness

10

Best for both

Social

Document
assembly

Mobility /
mobile
applications
/ remote
working

Cloud
Business
Intelligence

Customer
relationship
management

Workflow /
automation

Mobility

Integrated
practice
management

Workflow
and
automation Cloud

Business
intelligence

Automation
tools

Big
data

Voice / speech
recognition

media

Collaboration
portals

Technologies best for
efficiency

Case / matter
management

Workflow

Practice
management

E-billing

Unified

communications

Mobile

EDRMS /
document
management

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

11

STRATEGY

based on spreadsheets. Should a multimillion-pound
business do its reporting this way?
Case management is still not quite as prevalent
in legal as one might think should be the case,
but it’s an accepted technology. Why, then, was
case mentioned so much as a technology that
would impact firms’ bottom lines so much? Isn’t it
yesterday’s technology, rather than today’s?
Perhaps tellingly, case management was
connected several times to matter management.
This might explain its prevalence in the efficiency/
competitiveness word cloud: to some, it stands for
something more – an improved way of driving cases
through the firm, a more efficient way.
Mobility is an enormous subject, yet it’s all too easy to
sell it short. Law firms are becoming more distributed,
decentralised beasts, and they’re taking lots of
lessons from professional services and beyond about
being road warriors and digital nomads. Lawyers
and business services people alike want to be more
connected when they’re not in the office, and they’re
in the office less and less.

Does your firm use a dedicated business intelligence tool?

Yes

20%

35

%

No, we use reporting based on
spreadsheets
No, we use the built-in/pre-provided business intelligence tools in our
practice or matter management
systems

45%

Law firms need to more fully integrate their various
systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
management information that other businesses get from
‘joined-up’ systems.

5%
Strongly agree

35%

Agree

60%

Neither
Disagree

People at work want to be more free to consume
information wherever they are, because their
personal lives have given them that gift. The younger
generation of workers coming into legal also expects
more mobile capability – and culture – inside today’s
firm. Moreover, many would say that the smaller firms,
with their different mixes of work, some criminal or
legal aid still in the game, and more diverse client
bases, would benefit most from mobile – and have
the decision-making guts to go with it.
Mobility/comms is incredibly important to tomorrow’s
legal business, and later we’ll talk a bit more about
how that might manifest itself, and further drive value
for clients, too.
Cloud, at least, is a technology area that firms readily
admit they’ve not made much progress on – but it
represents an extremely attractive prospect. But while
SME legal management might have said that ‘cloud’
would be a technology that would have ‘the biggest

Strongly disagree

CLOUD
Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

50%
33%

How likely
cloud-bas
cloud or h
systems e

Should a multimillionpound business do
its reporting with
spreadsheets,
when a similarly
sized business in
17%another sector
would not?

10% 1

Within the next 12 months

Very li

Within the next 18 months

Quite l

S

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

impact’ BD
on their
firms’
competitiveness,
IT vendors
AND
PITCHING
TOOLS
say they still struggle to get the benefits across to
law firms. Why is this? Are law firm people telling
us one thing and them another? Is their technology
not up to what legal IT leaders want? Or is there
Does
your firm
usedelve
any specific
pitching/proposals
something larger
at work?
We
into this
later
technologies to help partners/BD people in the firm
in the report. win work?
Lastly, CRM and social media figured higher in
this, the SME version of our LITL research, than
in the top 100 edition. That does not mean,
in
Yes
my opinion, that big law has nailed social or
CRM. Most law firm don’t start mattersNo
in the
CRM, or keep their data clean, for example – two
Don’t know
100%
basic must-haves in marketing.
Big law has a lot

pitching/proposals
D people in the firm

es if

t know

ION

y/automation

know

12

Is your firm considering any pitching/proposals too
help partners/BD people in the firm win work?

15%

25%
Yes
more firm with social, but I would agree with what
No
I think is a statement in the research data: smaller
firms have a lot to gain through better use of social,
%
Don’t know
60firms.
and probably more than big

Is your firm considering any pitching/proposals tools to
help partners/BD people in the firm win work?

Finding a better future
of document15creation
25
%

%

Yes
DOCUMENT AUTOMATION
No

Is your
firm using
documentthe
assembly/automation
An area that
many,
including
illustrious
tools to deliver legal work?
%
Don’t know
60 will completely
Professor Susskind, think
reformat the delivery of legal services
is document automation and assembly.
This is certainly happening in legal and, it
35%more implementation
Yes of these
seems, much
technologies lies in the near future.

65%

Is your firm considering using document
assembly/automation tools to deliver legal work?

Yes

43%
57

%

No

A large majority (65%) of our respondents
Don’t know
said their firms use document assembly/
automation
tools
to deliver
legal
work, and
Is your firm
considering
using
document
to deliver
legal work?
45% ofassembly/automation
them said they tools
could
see their
firms
using more document automation to deliver
work within the next year, with a further third
(35%) saying their firm would be turning
COMMS automation
more to document
within the
Yes
43%
next two years.
%
57

No
Is your firm seriously considering or currently piloting
desktop-to-desktop video communications?
Don’t know

No
Don’t know

Can you see your firm using more document automation
to deliver any of the work that it does ...

45%
35%

within the next year
within the next two years

within the next three years
20
Is your firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
technologies that allow users to set their availability/
visibility or have management outline how their
availability is managed?
%

5%
Yes

55%

45%

No

25%

Yes

70
E-BILLING
%

No

C
to

LSN

Is your firm considering any pitching/proposals
tools to
No
65in% the firm win work?
help partners/BD people
% considering any pitching/proposals tools to
Is your15
firm
%
Don’t
know
25people
help partners/BD
in the firm win
work?
Yes
Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes
2015

15%

25%

15
%%
60
15
%

25%
25%

60%

60%
10%

We don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t know

13

No
Yes
Don’t
Yes know
No
Yes
No know
Don’t
No
Don’t know

60%

Don’t know

60%

Over what timescale might your firm be
using or adopting matter management
technologies?

Project and matter management

Is your firm currently using any project management
technology solutions?

42
42business
Legal
is, however, slowly but surely
Can you see your firm using more document automation
It and process
to deliver any of the work that it does ...
are
becoming a big thing in small
Can you see your firm using more document automation
Is your firm improvement
considering using
document
25%
assembly/automation
work?
% any of the work that it does ...
circles in tools
legalto– deliver
LPM’slegal
sister
title Briefing to deliver
45
%
Yes
Is your firm considering using
Can you see your firm using more document automation
17document
has looked hard
in 2014 at how legal projectto deliver any of the work that it does ...
assembly/automation tools to deliver legal work?
%
% see 35
Is your firmmanagement
considering using
document
Can45
you
your firm using more document automation
methods
and people
are reshaping
%
within the next No
year
0%
assembly/automation
tools to Yes
deliver
legal 0
work?
to deliver any of the work that
% it does ...
43% the legal industry,
75
and LPM will likely do the same %
within
the
next
two years
%
35
45
Don’t know
57%
%
within
No
in 2015 (after all, it shares an
within the
the next
next year
three years
20
% about its marketYes
43
Within the next 12 months
%
45
%
within
the
next
two
years
abbreviation
ittwo
– LPM).
35
Within
next
years
57%thewith
within the next year
Don’t
know
%
Yes
No
%
within
the
next
three
years
20
43
35%
Within the next five years
within the next two years
%
within
the
next
year
Yesa more project- and task-based
57the next
movement
to
No
43% This Within
10 years
Don’t
know
within the next three years
20%
within the next two years
way of
working
isNoreflected in the adoption or
Never
57%
%
within the next three years
20
Don’t know
internal creation of
a certain set of tools – matter
know
and legal projectDon’t
management
technologies –
%

%

Is your firm considering using document
adopting tools
the way
of the
project.
assembly/automation
to deliver
legal
work?

What’s wrong with
e-billing?

Is your firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
technologies that allow users to set their availability/
visibility
or have
management
outline how
their
Is
your firm
considering
implementing
any ‘presence’
availability is managed?
technologies
that allow users to set their availability/

%fewer
visibility
or have
management
how
Despite
ofimplementing
ouroutline
smaller
firm
respondents
Is your
firm
anytheir
‘presence’
5considering
availability
is managed?
technologies
that
allow
users
to
set
their
availability/
saying
that e-billing
is something
their clients
Isvisibility
your
implementing
% firm
or considering
have
management
outline any
how‘presence’
their
%
25
5
technologies
that
allow
users
to
set
their
availability/
are
asking
for
than
did
our
top
100
respondents
Yes
availability is managed?
visibility or have management outline how their
(unsurprisingly),
smaller firms are alive to the
%
%
25
availability
is 5
managed?
No
Yes
%
area, and are chasing
and winning clients that

5%
%
25
want
it.

25%

70

70%

Don’t
Yes know
No
Yes

No know
Don’t
A surprisingly high
number
of smaller firm
70%
respondents told
us
that
‘clients
are asking their
No
%
Don’t know
70
firms to move to an e-billing set-up for the firm’s
Don’t know
invoicing’
(45%),
but abandoning
only
30%the
ofuse
respondents
Is your
firm seriously
considering
of
BlackBerry
handsets,
or
putting
in
place
policies
such
as
said that they’d be buying an e-billing BYOD
solution
that,
in firm
yourseriously
opinion, will
significantly
reduce the
number
Is
your
considering
abandoning
the
use of ofIt seems
of
some
kind
in
the
next
12-24
months.
BlackBerry handsets,
handsets in
in your
team?policies such as BYOD
BlackBerry
oruse
putting
in place
odd
that
most
firms
aren’t
at least
considering
that,
in
your
opinion,
will
significantly
reduce
the
number
Is your firm seriously considering abandoning
the
use of of
BlackBerry
handsets
inor
use
in yourinteam?
some
kind
of
outsourced
or
cloud
version
of
BlackBerry
handsets,
putting
place
policies
such
as BYOD
%firm seriously considering abandoning
Isthat,
your
the number
use of of
Yes reduce the
30e-billing
in your opinion,
will
significantly
– afterputting
all, if inclients
are asking
for it,
BlackBerry
place
policies
such as BYOD
BlackBerryhandsets,
handsets or
in use in your
team?
that, isn’t
in%yourthis
opinion,
will significantly
reduce
the number
of
a
no-brainer?
Of
course,
e-billing
is a
No
Yes
30
BlackBerry handsets in use in your team?
purely reactive
60%buy – but maybe this result also
%
We
BlackBerrys
No
Yesdon’t use
30
indicates
a
lack
of confidence
that
a firm will win
10%%
%
60
the kind of client that We
demands
Yes know it.
30
Don’t
Nodon’t use BlackBerrys

10%
10%
10%

60%
60%

No
Don’t
knowuse BlackBerrys
We don’t
We don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t know
Don’t know

E-BILLING
E-BILLING

Are any of your firm’s clients asking to move to
an e-billing set-up for your firm’s invoicing?

E-BILLING
E-BILLING

Are any of your firm’s clients asking to move to
an e-billing set-up for your firm’s invoicing?
Are any of your firm’s clients asking to move to
an e-billing set-up for your firm’s invoicing?
Are any
15of%your firm’s clients asking to move to
an e-billing set-up for your firm’s invoicing?
Yes
%

15

45%

40%15
15%
40%

45%

40%

45%

%

45%

40%

No
Yes
Don’t
Yes know
No
Yes
No know
Don’t
No
Don’t know

Is an e-billing solution, internal
or external,
something
Don’t
know
your firm is likely to buy in the next 12-24 months?
Is an e-billing solution, internal or external, something
your firm is likely to buy in the next 12-24 months?
Is an e-billing solution, internal or external, something
your firm is likely to buy in the next 12-24 months?
Is an e-billing
solution, internal or external, something
%
20firm
your
is likely to
next 12-24 months?
30% buy in the
Yes

20%

20
50
20
50%

%
%
%

50%
50%

30%
30%
30

%

No
Yes
Don’t
Yes know
No
Yes
No know
Don’t
No
Don’t know
Don’t know

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

14

4.2%
AVERAGE UK TOP 100 LAW FIRM
SPEND ON IT AS A % OF REVENUE

What do the UK’s SME
RATEGY
STRATEGY
law firms spend on IT?

SME legal management leaders know they
need better and newer technology to drive up
your
use a dedicated
intelligence
tool?
yourDoes
firm
use afirm
dedicated
intelligence
efficiency
in the business
legal business
sector,
bothtool?
to help
their
businesses compete and to ensure they run
the tightest
ships they
can. But do they get the
Yes
20%
Yes
%
backing
and
financial
commitment
to technology
20
35%
%
No,
we
use
reporting
based
they35
need from the partnership? And
do on
their
No, we spreadsheets
use reporting based on
firms invest enough
to
create
tomorrow’s
legal
spreadsheets
businesses?
No, we use the built-in/pre-provid45%
ed business intelligence tools in our
%
No,
we
use the or
built-in/pre-providpractice
matter management
45
ed business
intelligence tools in our
systems
As far as we know,
the management
first to publicly ask
practicewe’re
or matter
systems
what smaller firms
spend on IT as a percentage
of revenue. This is a standard metric (and one
that, when used on its own, even its greatest
purveyor – Gartner – is wary of) and though it’s
simplistic,
can
tell
us
a lot. their various
Law
firms needitto
more
fully
integrate

systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
information
that other
get from
w firms management
need
more
fully integrate
their
variousspend
If,
asto
we
found,
smaller
lawbusinesses
firms
on
‘joined-up’ systems.

tems toaverage
be more able
to of
getrevenue
the efficiency
and
4.2%
on IT
(of course, a few
nagement information that other businesses get from
spend
a
lot
more
than
that),
then
they spend less
ned-up’ systems. %

5 media, banking or software. Yes, law
on IT than
firms seem to be spending
‘industry norm’
Stronglythe
agree
%
5
for the professional services sector, but is that
Agree
enough
for a vertical
that’s
arguably behind
Strongly agree
35%
%
the curve? 60
Neither

35

%

Agree

Moreover, it’s possibleDisagree
to make the argument
%
Neither
60firms
that law
are,
in their
way, content
Strongly disagree
businesses like media or software companies
Disagree
– and also similar in some ways to banking
partners. So why
are they
spending so much less
Strongly
disagree
than those sectors?

The
traditionalpartnership
partnership structure
law
The
traditional
structureholds
holds
law
firms
backfrom
frominvesting
investing enough
firms
back
enoughininITIT

Strongly agree

10%

Strongly agree

10%

%
40%

40
50%

Agree

Agree

Neither

Neither

50%

Disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Strongly disagree

The need for ERP-style systems such as SAP, 3E,
LexisOne
or any
other firm-wide
IT solution
is now
upon
When we
asked
our ‘second
100’
legal
us

firms
without
such
systems
will
not
be
properly
Themanagement
need for ERP-style
systems suchwhether
as SAP, 3E,
respondents
the
competitive in three-to-five years.

LexisOne
or any partnership
other firm-wide
IT solutionholds
is nowlaw
upon
traditional
structure
us – firms without such systems will not be properly
firms back
from investing enough in IT, the
competitive in
% three-to-five years.

5
answer
5% was a deafening ‘yes’ – 90% of
those asked agreed with
that
statement.
Strongly
agree
%
5
30%
5%
Agree
Why
but with a great
20% is this? Many (cruelly,
Strongly agree
deal of truth) say thatNeither
the problem with law
%
firms
is that30
the partners
rob the business
Agree
%
20
Disagree
40%of a financial
at the end
year, leaving little
Neither
to really invest in things
like IT.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
That’s40
just in the nature
of a partnership
business, perhaps, but
it’s
destructive to
Strongly disagree
investment.
%

CLOUD
Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

UD

hat timescale
do you you think your firm
50%
migrate significant systems to the cloud?

Law
ma
an

How likely is your firm, do you think, to adopt
cloud-based solutions (by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant
systems eg PMS, CRM?

How likely is your firm,
30% do you think, to adopt
cloud-based solutions (by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant

La
pr
th
bu
pr

We already have
software in the cloud

5%

5%

Is your firm using document assembly/automation
tools to deliver legal work?

5%

Strongly agree

Agree

60%

30%

20%

Neither

Strongly disagree

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

55%

30%

35%

Neither

Disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Strongly disagree

5%

Not very likely
Very unlikely

Within the next 10 years

We already have
software in the cloud
The traditional partnership structure holds law
firms back from investing enough in IT

Strongly agree

No, we use reporting based on
spreadsheets

40

30%

5%

Strongly disagree

Very unlikely
%

5

Neither

5

%

Yes

disagree based on
No,Strongly
we use reporting
spreadsheets

25%

Don’t know

50% 5%

40%

Strongly agree

33%

Agree

17%

60%

Neither
Disagree
Strongly disagree

Over what timescale might your firm be
using or adopting matter management
technologies?

DOCUMENT AUTOMATION

business, rather than the traditional mix of
practice/case/customer
relationship management.
40%

%
42% PITCHING TOOLS
42
BD AND

Is your firm using document assembly/automation
tools to deliver legal work?

No

Yes

Don’t know

Is your firm currently using any project management
technology solutions?
Is your firm considering using document
assembly/automation tools to deliver legal work?

25%

Can you see your
to deliver any of t

Yes

17%

%
55 0
%

Does your firm use any specific pitching/proposals
% help%
technologies0to
0 partners/BD people in the firm
%
win
work?
35
Yes

Neither

Disagree
Strongly
agree
Within the next 12 months

Within the next 12 months
%

45%

57%

Within the next two years

Within the next two years

%
Strongly disagree
30
Agree
Within the next five years

Strongly
Agreedisagree

Is your firm considering any pitching/proposals tools to
No
help partners/BD people
in the firm win work?
75%
Yes
43%
Don’t know

No

65

15%

Don’t know
Yes

Within the next five years
Within the next 10 years

Within the next 10 years
Neither
Never
70%

Neither

Never

Disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t know

35%

No

Don’t know
25%
Yes

No

100%

5%

Is your firm seriously considering or currently piloting
desktop-to-desktop video communications?

DOCUMENT AUTOMATION

20%
30%

20
10%

10% 10%

Is your firm using document assembly/automation
tools to deliver legal work?
Yes

5%

%

Strongly agree

40%

Quite likely

Strongly agree

15%

Agree

Neither

Very likely

55%

30

%

Not very likely
Very unlikely

Within the next 10 years

We already have
software in the cloud

60%

No
Don’t know

%

Disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Strongly disagree

How likely is your firm, do you think, to adopt
cloud-based solutions (by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant
systems eg PMS, CRM?

50%

30%
20%

33%

OUSOURCING
17%

How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT
services/provision?

Very likely

Within the next 12 months
Within the next %
18 months

Quite likely

Within
the
next two years
%
%

Undecided

30

25

Within the next three years
Within the next five years

15
Within the next 10 years
%

Very likely

COMMS

Yes

33

%

13

No

65

No
45%

55%

13

%

13%
0%

Within the next 12 months

0%
%

0%

Not very likely

Within the next 10 years

Within the next 10 years

Very unlikely

Never

Never

Both Within
these the
adoption-timescale
results show more
next 12 months
their top
100
Within
thebrethren.
next five years

Yes

Don’t know

Over what timescale might your firm be
using or adopting matter management
technologies?

40%

35%

Yes

70%

Don’t know

30%

No

75%
10

We don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t know

15%

Within the next two years
65%

5%

42% 42%

Is your firm currently using any project management
technology solutions?

Yes
No

13%

25%
Yes

17%

13%

0%

Don’t know

0%

Within the next five years

0%

75%

Within the next 12 months

Within the next two years

Within the next two years

Within the next five years

Within the next five years
Within the next 10 years

Within the next 10 years

Within the next 10 years

Never

Never

Never
Over what timescale might your firm be
using or adopting matter management
technologies?

42% 42%

17%
0%

0%

Within the next 12 months
Within the next two years

Never
Is your firm considering any pitching/proposals tools to
help partners/BD people in the firm win work?

15%

25%

Yes
No

60%

No
Don’t know

Within the next 12 months

Within the next 10 years

to us – firms seem far less keen on
adopting
technologies
help pitching/proposals
BD than on tools to find
Does your firm use any to
specific
technologies
to
help
partners/BD
in the
firmremain
out the costs. Is this an examplepeople
of how
firms
win work?
gun-shy about ‘sales’? This is one of the few areas of
our research in which smaller firms were far behind their
top 100 counterparts – none of our respondents said
their firm is ‘currently using specific pitching/proposals
Yes
technologies to help partners/BD
people in the firm
win work’ (which does not,No
of course, mean no firm is
using them).

Yes

No
Don’t know

60%
%

Within the next five years

Within the next 10 years

No

Is your firm currently using any project management
technology solutions?
Is your firm seriously considering abandoning the use of
BlackBerry handsets, or putting in place policies such as BYOD
that, in your opinion, will significantly reduce the number of
BlackBerry handsets in use in your team?

33%

Not very likely

BDappetite
AND
PITCHING
TOOLS in SME firms than in
forthe
these
Within
nexttechnologies
two years

Over what timescale might your firm be using
or adopting legal project management
technologies?

Within the next 12 months

30%

According to%our results, smaller firms are aiming
40
to adopt project management technologies in
33% over the next two years, with most
significant numbers
(>85%) looking at adoption within five years. Matter
management is coming even faster, with nearly 84% of
respondents
saying their firms
13%
13%are looking to adopt this
%
technology within the 0
next
two years.

25%

MATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Does your firm currently outsource any IT
services, such as help desk or even all basic
IT provision?

25% 25%

technologies?

No

No

65
Within the next 12 months
Within the next two years

But more telling, to us at LPM at least, is the timescale
over which law firm management say their firms will be
Over what timescale might your firm be using
adopting
these
technologies.
or adopting
legal
project management

Yes

60%

Yes

0%

Within the next five years

Very unlikely

30%

We don’t use BlackBerrys
Is your
10% firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
technologies that allow users to set
their
availability/
Don’t
know
visibility or have management outline how their
availability is managed?

25%

17%
35%

Within the next two years

Undecided

Is your firm seriously considering abandoning the use of
BlackBerry handsets, or putting in place policies such as BYOD
that, in your opinion, will significantly reduce the number of
BlackBerry handsets in use in your team?

Don’t know

of unified communications?

13%

Within the next five years

Quite likely

Don’t know

No

%
42%Is 42
your firm considering or conducting any pilot

Undecided

Very likely

Yes

Over what timescale might your firm be
using or adopting matter management
technologies?

Quite likely

How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT
services/provision?

45%

Don’t know

No

Don’t know

Over what timescale might your firm be using
or adopting legal project management
technologies?

Don’t know

OUSOURCING

57%

Can you see your
to deliver any of t

No

5%

%

MATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Yes

%

Yes

43%

No

Is your firm seriously considering
or currently
Don’t
know piloting
desktop-to-desktop video communications?

33%

%

Yes

65%

Not very likely
Very35
unlikely

70%

Don’t know

40%

We already have
software in the cloud
65%

5%

5%

No

65%

35%

%
%
10%
10Does
10
your firm currently outsource any IT

services, such as help desk or even all basic
IT provision?

Is your firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
technologies that allow users to set their availability/
visibility or have management outline how their
availability is managed?
Is your firm considering using document
assembly/automation
tools to deliver legal work?
25%
Yes

No

Don’t know
Yes

35

Neither

% %
3540

CLOUD

Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

45%

55%

Agree

Is your firm considering or conducting any pilot
of unified communications?

Within the next three years
Within the next five years

Much fewer,
are using legal project
No
65% however,
management solutions, and even we think it is unlikely
Don’t
knowLPM, despite 25% of
that firms are using
‘true’
respondents saying their firm was. However, some legal
management currently equate LPM solutions to pricing,
and so some pricing tools in play in legal right now
might be thought of as project management tools.

Law firms will only be able to realise the true value of
project and matter management tools and programmes if
they can get access to data across the whole of the
business, rather than the traditional mix of
practice/case/customer relationship management.

Over what timescale might your firm be using
or adopting legal project management
technologies?
Undecided

Within the next two years

Don’t know

Don’t know

No

60%

Don’t know
Is your firm considering or conducting any pilot
of unified communications?

50%

30%

Within the next 18 months

Never–
Strangely

We don’t use BlackBerrys

COMMS

Within the next 12 months

MATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Yes

Over
what
timescale
might
firm
betrue
using
Law
firms
will
only be able
toyour
realise
the
value of
or adopting
legal project
management
project
and matter
management
tools and programmes if
technologies?
they
can get access to data across the whole of the

30%

Over
what
timescale
you fully
you integrate
think yourtheir
firm various
How likely is yourThe
firm,
do you
think, to adopt
Law
firms
need todo
more
need
for ERP-style
systems such as SAP, 3E,
might
migrate
systems
theefficiency
cloud? and
cloud-based solutions
(by or
which
mean
either true
systems
to significant
be more able
to gettothe
LexisOne
any we
other
firm-wide
IT solution is now upon
solutions)
for systems
significant
management information that other businesses get fromcloud or hosted/managed
us – firms without
such
will not be properly
systems eg PMS,competitive
CRM?
‘joined-up’ systems.
in three-to-five years.

35%

40

%

Strongly agree
% general need to collect and analyse more
Law firms
15in
management
information to get the
edge they need in
%
Agree
13%
13market.
an increasingly
competitive legal

Disagree
Strongly agree

CLOUD

using matter
management – 40% of our respondents said their firm
was doing – and they certainly may not be using the
kind of matter management solutions that IT vendors
recognise as such, at least a sizeable minority of SME
firms polled report they are using something.
35%
Yes

Strongly agree

%
40
10%

No, we use the built-in/pre-provided business intelligence tools in our
practice or matter management
systems

45

Don’t know

100%

33%

%

Disagree
Yes

Not very likely

60%
15%

MATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

60%
35%

help partners/BD people in the firm win work?
No

10%

No

Disagree

Nopartnership
65traditional
The
structure holds law
30%
Agree in IT
% back from investing enough
firms
20
Don’t know
Neither

Agree
Does your
% firm use a dedicated%business intelligence tool?

Undecided

pitching/proposals tools to
30%Is your firm considering anyYes

Yes

Strongly disagree

%

60
5%

35%
Strongly agree

15%

20%

Don’t know

Disagree

Does your firm currently outsource any IT
services, such as help desk or even all basic
IT provision?The need for ERP-style systems such as SAP, 3E,
LexisOne or any other firm-wide IT solution is now upon
us – firms without such systems will not be properly
competitive in three-to-five years.

STRATEGY
%
%

Very likely

Don’t know

MATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT
services/provision?
Law firms need to more fully integrate their various
systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
management information that other businesses get from
‘joined-up’ systems.

Quite likely

No

Is your firm seriously considering abandoning the use of
BlackBerry handsets, or putting in place policies such as BYOD
that, in your opinion, will significantly reduce the number of
BlackBerry handsets in use in your team?

No

65%

Neither

70%

OUSOURCING

35

No

Does your firm use any specific pitching/proposals
technologies to help partners/BD
people in the firm
Yes
win work?

Agree

Neither

50%

No, we use the built-in/pre-provided business intelligence tools in our
practice or matter management
systems

of unified communications?

35%

Strongly agree

30%

Agree

%

your firm
considering orTOOLS
conducting any pilot
BDIsAND
PITCHING

Law firms in general need to collect and analyse more
management information to get the edge they need in
an increasingly competitive legal market.

55%

10%

Yes

45%

45%

Undecided

Within the next three years
Within the next five years

35%

Yes

70%

Don’t know

Quite likely

Does your firm use a dedicated business intelligence tool?

20%

25%

Very likely

Within the next 12 months

25

Is your firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
technologies that allow users to set their availability/
visibility or have management outline how their
availability is managed?

No

10%

10% 10%

STRATEGY
Within the next two years

Does your firm currently outsource any IT
services,While
such as
all basic
it’shelp
notdesk
yetora even
majority
of firms
IT provision?

15

Is your firm currently using any matter management
Yes
technology solutions?

17%

and the next couple of years will see the adoption of
No
%
matter and project management tools across the
75both
know
industry, accordingDon’t
to our
research.

No

Don’t know

Yes

45%

55%

Within the next 18 months

100%

Is your firm seriously considering or currently piloting
desktop-to-desktop video communications?

20%

25

57%

30%

33%

25

35%

Yes

43%

No

Don’t know

How likely is your firm, do you think, to adopt
cloud-based solutions (by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant
systems eg PMS, CRM?

50%

Yes

Yes

65%

COMMS

Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

25%

45%

Agree

CLOUD

Is your firm currently using any project management
technology solutions?

Can you see your
to deliver any of t

Strongly agree

15%

Agree

Neither

40%

Disagree

Is your firm considering using document
assembly/automation tools to deliver legal work?

Is your firm seriously considering or currently piloting
desktop-to-desktop video communications?

Strongly agree

35%

Don’t know

35%

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

16

What could you put in the cloud?
Which technologies or systems do SME legal management leaders think would be or are best
suited to moving into the cloud? The highest-scoring technologies picked out of a prescribed list
(spanning everything we could think of) by our SME LITL respondents were, in descending order:

1
E-billing
Email security

2

3

Customer relationship
management
Document management
Digital dictation
Time recording
Collaboration

4

Other marketing tools
Library management
HR software
Practice management
SDLT and electronic forms
Risk and compliance

Matter management/
project management
Knowledge management

5

Case management
Document assembly/
automation (and review)

6

Business intelligence
Cost recovery and
management
Records management
Document production tools
Records management

Disagree
Disagree

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

Strongly disagree
Strongly disagree

CLOUD
CLOUD
Over
what timescale
you you
think
your firm
However, they do
see
need
fordotech
foryou
winning
Overthe
what
timescale
do you
think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?
mightofmigrate
significant
systems
the is
cloud?
business: one-quarter
respondents
said
theirtofirm
considering those tools – something we’d deem to be
essential in a much more competitive marketplace.
50%
50%

Into the cloud33%33%
When it comes to the ‘cloud’,17
law
% firms are in a
17a% platform that’s
quandary. Moving applications to
managed by an IT business, no longer paying for a lot
of ‘tin’, and shifting some IT into an operational, rather
Within the next 12 months
Within
the next 12 months
than capital, bottom line
is attractive.
You also get topWithin the next 18 months
Within
the
next
18
months
class SLAs (or you should) and better physical security.
Within the next two years
Within the next two years
Within the next three years
Within the next three years
legal Within
businesses
really move
the nextcan’t
five years
Within the next five years
the way
consumers
do,
or even in
Within the next 10 years
Within the next 10 years

However, UK
into
the ‘cloud’ in
the
same way US firms do. US firms already exist in the
least secure (in terms of snooping and prying) data
jurisdiction in the developed world, so moving a law
firm to Google Apps hardly creates a worse platform
for client data for them. For a UK firm, however, things
are very different.
But the cloud is coming, and legal businesses are
realising that it is entirely possible to safely move a
lot of their IT infrastructure into the ‘cloud’ (or, more
properly, to a cloud-like hosted environment).

OUSOURCING
OUSOURCING
Smaller firms, though,
are much less keen on the cloud
than their biggerHow
cousins.
that
are keen
on it are IT
likely isThose
your firm
to consider
outsourcing
How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT
services/provision?
going for it no holds
barred – though only 20% of SME
services/provision?
LITL respondents said their firms were likely to “adopt
cloud-based solutions (by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed solutions)
for significant
30%
%
30
systems, such as practice
%and case management,
25%
25%25finance
25% systems, customer
document management,
relationship management”. Those that% are ‘likely’ to do
1515
%
so say their firms intend to do it soon
(83%
within18
months, so by around the end of 2015). The remainder
5%5years.
(17%) said their firms would do it inside two
%
That’s impressive confidence in the cloud.
Very likely
Very likely
Quite
likely
Compare this to the
top
100
– if our research reflects
Quite
likely
Undecided
any reality, over two-thirds
of
the top 100 will have a
Undecided
Not
very
likely
system in the cloud inside
two
years from now. This,
Not very
likely
unlikely
like the appetite forVery
BD
tools,
is an area that smaller
Very
unlikely

% we use reporting based on
Disagree
40No,
%
Disagree
40
No, we use the built-in/pre-p
spreadsheets

45%

ed business intelligence tool
Strongly
disagr
practice or matter
managem
Strongly
dis
No,
we use the built-in/pre-pro
17
systems
ed business intelligence tools i
practice or matter managemen
systems

45%

Law firms need to more fully integrate their various
systems to be more able to get the efficiency and
management
information
other businesses
get fro
Law
firms need to
more fullythat
integrate
their various
‘joined-up’
systems
to besystems.
more able to get the efficiency and
other
businesses get from
Howmanagement
likely is yourinformation
firm, do youthat
think,
to adopt
How
likely issystems.
your firm, do you think, to adopt
‘joined-up’
cloud-based solutions
(by which we mean either true
%
cloud-based 5
solutions
(by which we mean either true
cloud or hosted/managed
solutions) for significant
cloud or hosted/managed solutions) for significant
systems eg PMS, CRM?
Strongly agree
systems eg5PMS,
CRM?
%

30%
30%

35%

Agree agree
Strongly

60%

35

%

60%

10%
10%

%
10%
10%1010%

Neither
Agree

20%
20%

Disagree
Neither
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

Very likely
Very likely
Quite likely
Quite likely
Undecided
Undecided
Not very likely
Not very likely
Very unlikely
Very unlikely
We already have
We already have
software in the cloud
software in the cloud
Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

CLOUD
CLOUD

Over what timescale do you you think your firm
might migrate significant systems to the cloud?

50%
50%
33%
33%

17%
17%

Within the next 12 months
Does your firm currently outsource any IT
Doesthe
your
firm18currently
outsource any IT
Within
next
months
services,
such
as help
desk or even all basic
services,
such
as help desk or even all basic
Within
the
next
12 two
months
Within
the
next
years
IT provision?
IT provision?
Within
the
next
18 three
months
Within
the
next
years
Within
the
next
two
years
Within
the
next
five
years
Within
the
next
three
years
Within the next 10 years
Within the next five years
Within the next 10 years

35%
35%

Yes
Yes

65%
65%

No

No

Don’t know
Don’t know

OUSOURCING
OUSOURCING
How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT

H
c
c
s

software in

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

18

Outsourcing’s quiet revolution?

OUSOURCING

Can law firms outsource almost
everything and still be in control? Can
they outsource nearly everything and still
be themselves?
Just under two-thirds of the SME LITL
respondents said that their firm currently
outsources some form of IT provision, and
a significant proportion of firms look likely to
move further into the IT outsourcing world –
50% of LITL respondents said that their firm
was likely to consider outsourcing IT services
or provision in the future.

How likely is your firm to consider outsourcing IT
services/provision?

30%
25% 25%
35%
15%
5%
Very likely
Quite likely
Undecided

WHAT DO YOU OUTSOURCE?
• IT support
• Data backups
• Infrastructure
• Hosting
• 24/7 monitoring
• Network support
• Second line support for most systems
• All IT
• Telephony
• Help desk
• Development work
• Systems administration
• Managed networks
• Email archiving
• Maintenance

MENTIONED SECOND
• Dictation
• Email scanning and archiving
• Server support
• Help desk

MENTIONED THIRD
• Desktop builds
• Payroll
• Email archiving
• Hosting
• Firewall
• Tape storage
• Document production

Does you
services,
IT provisi

Not very likely
Very unlikely

But what do law firms currently outsource?
The breakdown, left, shows that quite a lot is
already being outsourced.
This obviously isn’t exhaustive, but quite a bit
of IT is already being outsourced – and this
looks highly likely to grow over time.
But there is a flipside to this debate – and
it’s the only place in the survey where
respondents were keen to slip comments into
their answers (that’s what happens when you
give people free text boxes).
One respondent said: “I strongly believe that
with the right service culture, it is better to
have support in the firm, not out of it.” And
we think that it’s important to represent that
view here, because that respondent was not
alone in saying something like that.
Outsourcing has had a chequered recent
history in legal, but it seems inevitable that it
will find an ever-larger place in the industry.

57
57%

%
Strongly
disagree
No
65
Strongly
disagree
%
No

65

No
No

Don’t know
Don’t know
Don’t know
Don’t know

Don’t know

Don’t know 2015
LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes

DOCUMENT AUTOMATION
DOCUMENT AUTOMATION

Is your firm using document assembly/automation
Is your
using document
assembly/automation
toolsfirm
to deliver
legal work?
tools to deliver legal work?

COMMS
COMMS
35%

Is your firm considering using document
Is your
firm considering using
assembly/automation
toolsdocument
to deliver legal work?
assembly/automation tools to deliver legal work?

19

Can you see
Cantoyou
see you
deliver
any
to deliver any of

COMMS
COMMS

45%
45%

Yes
your firm seriously considering
or currently piloting
43%Isyour
firm seriously Yes
considering
or currently piloting
video
communications?
43% Isdesktop-to-desktop
%
57
video
communications?
Is your firm seriously%considering
or currently piloting
Is your firm considering
implementing
any ‘presence’
Noon
No
%
firms
could have %
such
a jump
big firms – but about Isdesktop-to-desktop
65
Is desktop-to-desktop
your firm seriously
considering
your firm 57
considering
any ‘presence’
No or currently piloting
Noimplementing
video communications?
technologies
that allow
users to set their
availability/
65
which
they seem reluctant.
Worse,
there’s
a
high
desktop-to-desktop
video communications?
technologies
that allow
users to outline
set theirhow
availability/
visibility
or
have
management
their
Don’t know
Don’t know
visibility
or have
management
outline how their
availability
is managed?
Don’tabout
know cloud – far greater
Don’t know
refusenik count in SME legal
availability is managed?
negativity than in top 100 firms.
5%
5%
Yes
Yes
%
%
25
45
Yes the smaller
Yes
But taking the top 100 results and
25%%
45%
No
55
Yes
Yes
%
No
%
(second 100) results45
together,
it’s very clear to me
55
%
No
No
45
%
%
Don’t know
that55
the cloud has ‘arrived’ byNo
any measure you care
70
No
Don’t know
55%
%
70
to use, regardless of cloud laggards and refusers. The

35%

Yes
Yes

COMMS
Don’t know
COMMS
Don’t
know
tipping point may be far nearer than
many think.
Is your firm seriously considering or currently piloting
Is your
firm seriously considering
or currently piloting
desktop-to-desktop
video communications?
desktop-to-desktop video communications?

Better connected, but not yet present
Is your firm considering or conducting any pilot
Is of
your
firm communications?
considering or conducting any pilot
unified
Perhaps
greatest shift in legal, arguably
of unified the
communications?

far bigger
than the cloud, is a shift towards a more distributed
business – one that is more mobile,
Yes more on-site,
Yes
%
45
more physically distributed
and more team-based.
%%
45%
No
35
55
%
No
Yes
35
55%
Yes than just iPads or
That requires something more
Don’t know
Don’t
know
No technologies
%
Citrix – it’s a world
that
requires
to help
65
No
%
65
bind the firm together and make
interactions more
Don’t know
personal and useful. PeopleDon’t
need
to share information
know
more, but they also need to communicate more
Is your firm
considering
or be
conducting
any– pilot
effectively.
They
need to
available
and they also
Is your
firm considering
or conducting any pilot
of unified
communications?
need
to communications?
be able to bind their availability to a team.
of
unified

ATTER AND
PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
This points
to a set of
technologies that legal has
ATTER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

35

Is
te
vi
av

Don’t know
Don’t know

Is your firm considering implementing any ‘presence’
Is your
firm considering
implementing
‘presence’
technologies
that allow
users
to setany
their
availability/
Is your firm considering
or conducting
any
pilot
technologies
allow
users
to set
their availability/
orthat
have
management
outline
how
their
Isvisibility
your
firm
considering
or conducting
any pilot
of
unified
communications?
visibility
or
have
management
outline
how their the use of
availability
is managed?
of
unified
communications?
Is
your
firm
seriously
considering
abandoning
availability
managed?
Is BlackBerry
your firmisseriously
considering
the use
ofas BYOD
handsets,
or putting abandoning
in place policies
such
%
5
BlackBerry
handsets,
putting
in placereduce
policies
such
as BYOD
that, in your
significantly
the
number
of
5%opinion,orwill
that,
in your
opinion,
will
reduce the number of
BlackBerry
handsets
in significantly
use in your team?
%
25 handsets in use in your team?
BlackBerry
%
Yes

25 %
35
35% %
30
30%

70%
%
70
%
65
65% %
60
60%

10%
10%

Is
IsB
Bla
t
tha
B
Bla

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
NoNo
Don’t know
No know
Don’t
Don’t know
We know
don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t
We don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t know
Don’t know

Is your firm seriously considering abandoning the use of
Is your
firm seriously
considering
abandoning
the use
of as BYOD
BlackBerry
handsets,
or putting
in place policies
such
BlackBerry
handsets,
or putting
in place policies
such
as BYOD
that, in your
opinion,
will significantly
reduce the
number
of
that,
in your opinion,
will in
significantly
BlackBerry
handsets
use in yourreduce
team? the number of
BlackBerry handsets in use in your team?

yet to adopt in any significant way but, if adopted, it
Yes
30%
35% revolutionise how firms work both internally and
%
could
Yes
%
30
Yes
35
Over what
timescale
might
your firm
beYes
using
with
clients:
presence
and
unified
communications. Over what timescale might your firm beNo
Over
what timescale
mightmanagement
your firm be using
Over
what
timescalematter
might management
your firm be
or adopting
legal project
No
using
or adopting
No
%
ortechnologies?
adopting
legaltimescale
project management
using
or
adopting
matter
management
60%
Over what
might
your
firm
be
65
technologies?
No
%
We don’t use BlackBerrys
%your firm be
60
Over
what
timescale
might
technologies?
65
using
or adopting
matter
management
There
are now
signs
that legal business is starting technologies?%
We don’t use BlackBerrys
Don’t
know
10 %
using
or adopting
matter management
technologies?
%
% %
40take
42
42
Don’t
to
21st-century comms
farknow
more seriously.
Is%10
your
firm
currently using any project
management
Don’t
know
%
technologies?
40%
42
42
Don’t
know
Is
your
firm
currently
using any project
management
technology
solutions?
%
%three-quarters of LITL respondents say
%
Almost
33
42 42
technology solutions?
% %
4233
42%their
firms are considering implementing presence
technologies “that allow users to set their availability
% %
17
outline how their availability
%25
% or have management
%
17
13
13
25%
% Almost
13% is managed”.
13% two-thirds say their firms are
Yes
17
%
%
%
0
0
%0
Yes
%
%
%
17
considering0or conducting a pilot for unified comms.
0
0
No
0% %0%
%
%
No
75
0
Within
Within the next 12 months 0
% the next 12 months
75 the next 12 months Don’t know
there’s a distance between ‘considering’
Within
WithinOf
thecourse,
next 12 months
Within the next two yearsDon’t know
Within the next two years
Within
the
nextityears
12
months
and
‘doing
tomorrow’.
Butbewe were looking for
Within the next two years
Within
the
next
two
Over
what
timescale
might
your firm
Within the next five years
Within
the
next
five
years
Within
the
next
12
months
Over
what
timescale
might
your
firm
be
Within
the
next
two
years
using
or
adopting
matter
management
Within the next five years
Withinfeeling
the nextand
five intent
years in the LITL survey, and in our
Within the next 10 years
Within
the
next
10
years
Within
the
next
two
years
using
or
adopting
matter
management
technologies?
Within
thewe
next
five years
next
10 years
Within
the next
10
years
opinion
have
found it when it comes to the future Within
Is yourthe
firm
currently
using any project management
technologies?
Never
Never
Within the next five years
Is your
firm currently
using any project management
the
next
10
years
technology
solutions?
Never
NeverWithin
%
%
communications.
42firmw
42of law
Within
the
next 10 years
technology solutions?
42%
42%Never
Never

25%

%

Is y
Istec
yo
tech

7

LSN Research / SME Legal IT Landscapes 2015

20

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about technology. Why not take a
look at what else we do?
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by email: lsn@lsn.co.uk

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