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Survey Reveals How Law Firms Spend on Tech

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  • For the first time in eight years, security management edged out email management as the biggest issue that legal IT departments must confront, according to the International Legal Technology Association, and InsideLegal annual technology purchasing survey.

    Released this week, the survey had 184 respondents, primarily c-level, director-level and management level individuals from firms of all sizes.

    The biggest takeaways from the survey are that large firms, characterized as firms with 200 or more attorneys, are spending more on technology, and that cybersecurity is a growing concern.

    Among the findings:

    • Forty-one percent of all firms reported their technology budgets increased in 2015 while 15 percent reported spending less and 44 percent reported their technology budget remained flat.

    • Large firms’ “favorite purchases” include wireless networks, video conferencing, knowledge management software, business intelligence software and workflow automation.

    The survey looked beyond technology purchases, at how law firms use technology.

    • Around half of all respondents, 54 percent, have a twitter account but use it to track and monitor topics. Only four percent mentioned posting “frequently.”

    • Only four percent of large law firms reported they have no plan to use big data technology.

    Cybersecurity is a growing concern.

    • Fifty-nine percent named security management as a top concern compared to only 48 percent who cited email management as a top concern and 40 percent who cited information governance as a top concern.

    • Sixteen percent of respondents outsource IT security.

    • Sixty-three percent of respondents cited “security concerns” as a compelling reason to avoid cloud-based technologies. There appears to be little consensus about the cloud, as 29 percent cited the “security” as a compelling reason to embrace cloud-based technologies.

    The survey goes on to name a complete list of outside consultants that respondents have used and also offers more data on legal technology trends.