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Upgrading to 3E Financing and Leasing Is a Strategic Advantage

This article was featured in the Q2 2017 edition of Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront newsletter.

Financing and Leasing Technology Is a Strategic Advantage

This article was featured in the May 2017 edition of Law Journal Newsletters.

By Scott McFetters

Advances in technology and software are being made at an increasingly rapid pace. As a result, IT hardware obsolescence cycles are shrinking too. This period of exponential improvement with which we are all now familiar has shown time and again that there will continue to be breakthroughs in technology that deliver better, less expensive, and/or more robust products. Law firms may want to leverage a specific law firm management technology to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace but might not want to purchase those tools outright. How are you equipping your firm to succeed both in the present day and into the future?

Changing Technologies

On Jan. 10, 2023, Thomson Reuters Elite will cease support for all versions of its Enterprise platforms, with all bug fixes for all versions ending on Dec. 31, 2022. The Thomson Reuters Elite Enterprise platform is over 25 years old, and according to the company, is no longer feasible to maintain compatibility with new technology. In addition, Microsoft will terminate related technologies over the coming years, which means that by January 2023, all enterprise versions will be running on unsupported Microsoft technology.

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As part of the complete Enterprise Business Management Solution offered by Thomson Reuters Elite, the 3E platform helps firms manage critical areas of their business. This means they upgrade either to 3E or a competing product, which could impact several mission-critical systems within the firm. In addition, this could require other expensive hardware upgrades and tertiary software upgrades.

Approximately 33% of Thomson’s 167 client firms, ranging from 100 fee earners to 600, have already made the decision to upgrade to 3E. This leaves about 67% of its major law firm client base still undecided as to whether to upgrade to Thomson’s new 3E platform or change their core platforms to Aderant or another competitor.

Finance or Buy?

Whether firms migrate from Elite Enterprise to the new 3E platform or change providers, a decision must be made to arrive at a financial solution that will cover not only the software expenses, but also additional related expenses: training, implementation, maintenance and other soft costs, along with any new hardware requirements for the new system.

To learn more, read Scott McFetters’ latest article in Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront here. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.

How Leasing Can Make Your Information Security Processes Bulletproof

Security issues are cited repeatedly as the number one concern for law firms and most recently topped all other current trends. The 2015 ILTA TechSurvey revealed that nearly half of the 420 law firms surveyed identified security as the number one concern—and with good reason. As recently reported in Legaltech News, 80 of the 100 biggest law firms have been hacked since 2011. This year, firms are estimated to spend more than $6.9 million or 1.92 percent of their gross annual revenues on information security.

Security concerns are a game changer. Not only are clients mandating increased security measures, they are requiring that these security measures be absolute and transparent. Every firm is now beholden to know exactly what technology and equipment it has in its possession, its location, its lifecycle stage, and the established processes required to securely return and dispose of the assets at the end of its useful life.

To learn more, read Scott McFetters’ latest article in Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront here. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.

How Leasing Assists Your Firm to Make Your Information Security Processes Bulletproof

This article was featured in the April 2016 LJN Accounting and Financial Planning for Law Firms Newsletter.

By Scott McFetters.

Security issues are cited repeatedly as the number one concern for law firms and most recently topped all other current trends.  The 2015 ILTA TechSurvey revealed that nearly half of the 420 law firms surveyed identified security as the number one concern—and with good reason.  As recently reported in Legaltech News, 80 of the 100 biggest law firms have been hacked since 2011.  This year, firms are estimated to spend more than $6.9 million or 1.92 percent of their gross annual revenues on information security.

Security concerns are a game changer.  Not only are clients mandating increased security measures, they are requiring that these security measures be absolute and transparent.  Management of your firm’s technology and equipment assets now falls under the mandate of these security standards to which law firms must adhere.

Every firm is now beholden to know exactly what technology and equipment it has in its possession, its location, its lifecycle stage, and the established processes required to securely return and dispose of the assets at the end of its useful life.  As security measures evolve, so will the rate of technology equipment refresh alongside it– firms cannot afford the risk of deploying technology beyond its useful life.

Two vital components of your pragmatic information security policy are IT asset management and a refresh program that ensures your law firm is equipped with the most current updated hardware and software.  Leasing, as it turns out, is a financial tool which parallels your firm’s goals to achieve both, assisting your efforts to make your information security program bulletproof.

Click here to download the full article.

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.

Click here to read the full article online.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’: Leasing Strategies in a World of Flux

Mergers and moving offices to locations with lower cost requires flexibility regarding law firms’ technology, software and equipment needs as these are reconfigured and optimized.   If your firm owns technology, the result of reconfiguring operations could leave you with equipment that is no longer needed, but will require dedicated staff hours to handle.

The financial burden of office relocations like Tallahassee by Kaye Scholer and Nashville by Pillsbury can be alleviated by converting all new technology and equipment needs into a monthly expense as opposed to a single, large cash outlay.   At the same time, in addition to the hardware and equipment needs, firms can also finance the software, software upgrades and associated ‘soft costs’ including training, implementation, installation and services, which can help alleviate the cost of onboarding new staff in new locations.

Leasing a firm’s hardware, software and other technology costs is a strategic solution that can allow a firm to convert what would be a large purchase into an affordable monthly expense.   Leasing conserves cash, keeps bank lines of credit open for their intended short-term use, and cuts out of pocket costs for security upgrades while enabling the necessary new projects to be fit into the budget.

Combined, these financial strategies allow flexibility and rapid decision making, distinct advantages in a merger and re-sizing market.

 

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Leasing Strategies for the Semiconductor Industry

This article appeared in the March 2015 edition of Law Journal Newsletters Equipment Leasing Newsletter.

There is no denying that the future looks bright for the semiconductor industry, with experts forecasting impressive growth in 2015. While this is encouraging industry news, semiconductor companies are still facing the complex mix of rapid change, increased competition, innovation pressures and rising equipment costs.

What are financial strategies that can help semiconductor manufactures to succeed? In this article,  Gary Atkins, VP of Deiversified Technologies at  CoreTech Leasing, Inc., lays out the industry challenges and how leasing can be a strategic solution. In particular, Gary argues that leasing strategically enables manufacturers to employ a financial tool which  mirrors the useful life of technology and, therefore, is a lean tool in a market won in the margins.

Click here to read the article now.

Leveraging Leasing Can Alleviate Law Firm Security Pressures

This article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of Thomson Reuter’s Elite Forefront.

By Scott McFetters.

We know the consumer industry stories of hackers infiltrating Target and, more recently, Home Depot:

“Here’s the thing about breaking into a multi-billion-dollar company and stealing the credit card information of millions of customers: It’s just not that hard.” From Mashable.com

Law firms are now at the center of the storm because they store some of their clients’ most sensitive business information and are viewed by criminals as a less defended path to that data. Firms must take care to understand and respond to evolving security trends and response strategies.

In this article, “Leveraging Leasing Can Alleviate Law Firm Security Pressures ”, Scott McFetters examines how law firms can navigate the current security landscape and ease these security pressures by strategically leveraging leasing.

Read the article to find out how your law firm can enjoy the benefits of leasing while reducing security and IT pressures.

Click here online to read the article online or click here to download.

At LegalTech: How to Ensure Your Firm is Ready for Today’s Security Challenges

This article appeared on the Legal IT Professionals website on February 2, 2015. 

By Scott McFetters.

Security is not a new concern for law firms. However, with news of breaches—including just this January when tens of thousands of phishing email scams were sent, looking as if they came from some of the top US law firms–persistently hitting the headlines, so too are clients’ demands to increase security measures.

It is no surprise that the subject dominates much of LegalTech New York’s 2015 agenda. LegalTech is always one of the best conferences for the legal industry to discover innovative products to meet their current and future technology needs. But law firms may be questioning how the necessary new security products, updates and releases showcased at LegalTech can fit into their budget.

Click here online to read the article online or click here to download.

When Moore Means Lease–and Keeping Pace with Changes in Technology

This article first appeared in the April 2014 issue of Law Journal Newsletter’s Accounting & Financial Planning for Law Firms.

By Mike Henderson

 “Moore’s Law is the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. The law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, who described the trend in his 1965 paper.  His prediction has proven to be accurate.” Wikipedia

The principals of Moore’s Law have provided the framework for the pace of change in technology since that seminal white paper was published in 1965 not to mention one of the fundamental arguments in favor of leasing that technology.  That was, according to Intel executive David House, who predicted that chip performance would double every 18 months—meaning  that what you buy today—if you are on the very forefront of the trend–becomes obsolete in that 18 month timeframe.  Given this cycle, purchasing technology outright dissuades the user from keeping pace with the newest technology trends.

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