I want to walk you through a case study of a technology transformation we did for a law firm. While my goal is to keep this as short as possible, this is a great example of how looking at your technology can impact your firm. So, bear with me if this does get a little long, because there was a LOT that was accomplished.
We were engaged by a Am Law 200 law firm in the US whose business was thriving and growing, and who had a substantial presence in their market. They thought they might be overspending on their technology. Through initial discussion their tech spend seemed to be running 20-40% higher than industry standard for a firm of their size and success and they weren’t sure why it was that high.
So, we were hired to dive in and see what we could find.
The Valerity team conducted a thorough assessment of the firm’s technology which included not only a complete review of the actual tech and software, but interviews with management, key attorney stakeholders, the tech management team and other employees in their divisions.
The initial steps were to understand their business goals and see how aligned their technology was to the firm’s business goals.
Let’s jump in and look at what the assessment showed us:
- The business leadership and tech leadership were not aligned. The tech team reported that everything “was good”.
- The firm leadership didn’t give clear direction to the tech team, pulling them in many directions with a lack of prioritization and no overarching tech strategy or defining implementation/transformation.
- The firm had 60+ custom made apps that were draining the tech team resources to build and support, which created issues supporting the overall firm.
- The firm was late to the game in GDPR compliance which resulted in them overspending on the software/service to support GDPR…and they didn’t even really know what they bought.
- There was a lack of meaningful metrics which left the leadership team unable to effectively iterate tech needs and also unable to hold the tech team accountable to service levels and industry excellence.
- They had a lack of awareness of what “good” or “great” looked like, so their bar was set at an “average” level, leading to average tech and average tech leadership and average management.
- Their security policies restricted the firm from trying new things, which resulted in ideas and concepts being quickly shot down.
- Their tech talent was not evolving at a pace one would expect for time in their roles.
- Overall the tech team was a reactive delivery organization rather than a proactive service organization.
After understanding the issues, we agreed that they were, in fact, overspending on their technology and tech team. And in some areas, overspending in a big way.
The following are the results after our strategy was put in place:
- We provided the “standard report” and presentation that outlined the areas where they were overspending, the prevailing issues with their tech and tech team and the plan that would take them from where they were to where they needed to be, all of which was well received by the C-suite and managing partners.
- We helped facilitate a reorganization of the tech team to align them with the business goals and the overall operation.
- Established meaningful metrics to allow them to evaluate the tech performance and understand how to iterate as the firm grew.
- We helped realign their tech investment (tech spend, people and amount of time allotted) to create better efficiencies and streamlined process. Side benefit is it helped with team retention when workplace excellence became the standard.
- We eliminated wasteful spend on the custom development and support team. We eliminated $500K of overspending, created a higher ROI on their new tech spend and created some new revenue streams by focusing the team on differentiating technologies.
- Doubled the level of the performance of the tech team as a result of the reorganization; that process allowed future tech decision making and investment easier with the new view of the tech teams outputs and delivery metrics.
- The overall changes resulted in higher employee satisfaction which led to reduced turnover in the tech department.
- The new excellence in technology would result in more business for the firm and better tech hires.
- New security controls and protocols were established which resulted in significant savings on their spend on security, while simultaneously improving their security controls (meaning better security). It also led to an increase in the volume of tech change and tech initiatives which boosted the overall firm.
- Greater efficiencies were seen with the entire tech team once new metrics, performance indicators and incentives were properly established.
- We helped them claw back the overspending to get their tech spend to industry standards.
- Full alignment of tech goals and business goals to maximize the ROI of the tech spend while minimizing tech and security risks.
A thorough tech assessment and transformation can have a huge impact on a company, in this case a law firm, that helps them drive their company forward.
If you are interested in learning how you can get control over your tech spend and risks, schedule a time to speak with us here.
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