Independent Technology & Equipment Lessor • Strategic Partners

What is The Cost of Delay for Upgrading Your Firm’s Infrastructure?

This article was featured by Legal IT Professionals on October 5, 2015

By Scott McFetters

Sustained corporate success and the ability to adapt to change have long gone hand-in-hand; the average life span of a corporation has been steadily decreasing for decades. Standard & Poor’s data shows that it was 61 years in 1958, 25 years in 1980, and just 18 years in 2011. In today’s business world, many more companies merge, are acquired, or go through some other form of transformation which feeds into the data—all which means business as a whole is more dynamic than it was 60 years ago as the pace of change accelerates.

The right technology is an essential building block to successful adaptation in today’s market—and that includes legal where it is leveraged as a crucial part of law firm productivity and client service.  With these positive changes in the use of technology comes challenges as well including at least these:

– Law firms are faced with exponentially increasing pressures from both corporate and private clients when it comes to cybersecurity.

– Decreasing useful life of the technology and equipment the firms have come to rely on to compete, adapt and succeed.

Earlier this year, Legaltech News reported in its 2014 Global Law Firm Cyber Survey that, “79 perceof respondents said cyber and privacy security was included as one of the top 10 risks in their firms’ overall risk strategy, but more than half (51 percent) also said either that their firms hadn’t taken measures to insure their cyber-risk or that they weren’t aware of whether their firm had taken appropriate measures.”

A different report from Chase Cost Management reported that 80 of the 100 biggest law firms have been hacked since 2011 and this year, firms will typically spend more than $6.9 million on information security, or 1.92 percent of their gross annual revenues.  It comes as no surprise that these investments are the result of client demands and the obligations to protect data.

Where is the money going?  It was noted during ILTA panel discussions that the biggest ROI for enhancing a firm’s security is training personnel –but across the board, IT departments are struggling to simultaneously meet all of these demands.  The 2015 TrustWave Security study shows 66% of IT pros are pressured to implement security products with all of the latest features, despite 3 out of 10 not having the financial or staffing resources to do so effectively.

It is a complex landscape and all of these actions are important – increasing spend on security measures and training the people inside of law firms—but, here’s another:  don’t forget to pay attention to the fundamentals like your equipment and technology lifespan itself.  In fact, focusing on this fundamental can lead to a solution firms can take to bolster security and alleviate financial burdens.

Specifically, it is oftentimes overlooked that law firms—as businesses—are successful based on their use of equipment and not from the ownership of that equipment—and it is clear that the useful lifespan and the security lifespan of your firm’s technology and equipment are decreasing.  This means it may not be strategic in the current environment to own equipment, as the depreciable life will most likely will outlast the equipment’s useful life as well as its security protocols.

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