Top Purchasing Trends Rocking the Legal World

The latest survey from The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) and InsideLegal shows interesting shifts in technology purchasing among law firms. According to their results, the top five technology purchases for the past 12 months have been:

  • 64% laptops and notebooks
  • 63% desktop hardware and PCs
  • 50% network upgrade and servers
  • 47% printers and multi-functional devices
  • 41% anti-virus and anti-spam spyware software

For more survey results, check out this infographic: ILTA & Insidelegal Technology Purchasing Survey 2014.

But what is also interesting is the list of planned software purchases for the next 12 months:

  • Disaster recovery software
  • Litigation support software
  • Time entry/remote time entry software

No wonder the number one planned purchase is disaster recovery (DR) software. It’s only natural, as the use of technology increases, so does the need for data protection and business continuity. As a law firm, you cannot risk losing critical or sensitive data or compromise any client information. Not to mention the financial impact of practice interruption due to a server crash, database corruption, or the typical power outage that leaves employees without access to the critical applications they need to continue filing briefs, working cases, and sending emails.

If you are among the firms that are considering disaster recovery software, or you want to re-evaluate your current solution, consider the following:

  • The Shift to Cloud: There is a reason why 69% of small businesses are using cloud-based applications today, according to Gartner. Law firms, like other organizations are moving toward cloud computing because it gives them the ability to access information and communicate anywhere, which ultimately allows staff and lawyers to continue working outside of the office.
  • Hybrid Cloud Solution: According to Gartner, through 2020, the most common use of cloud services will be a hybrid model combining on-premises and external cloud services. Look for a solution that allows your employees to continue accessing key applications such as a case management system, financials, and contact relationship management. Consider looking into a single solution that provides both local and cloud protection for all of your data and applications (virtual or physical environments). You should have the ability to instantly failover (meaning a copy of your server is virtualized and spun up) locally or to the cloud in case your entire office goes down. This ensures your employees can continue working no matter what. That is true business continuity!
  • Do It Yourself DR Will Be More Costly: With an experienced IT team, it may seem more appealing to do it yourself and use different products that your team will cobble together into a DR plan. Cost reduction, greater control, and faster recovery are a few reasons why IT professionals decide to forgo service providers and cloud providers. However, this results in the lack of focus on DR, lack of funding to ensure the DR architecture is up to date, lack of skills, and lack of confidence that your business can effectively respond in a disaster situation. Looking at the full total cost of ownership and the longevity of the service provided, cloud-based DR solutions are a more promising approach, if you select the right provider.

For additional guidance on what to look for when evaluating backup and disaster recovery solutions for law firms, check out the whitepaper A Law Firm’s Guide to Disaster Recovery.


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