Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/96072

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inside ILTA ILTA's 2012 Technology Survey Results The following is an excerpt from IL TA's 2012 Technology Survey. Download the entire survey results online at iltanet.org/techsurvey. One of the most interesting tasks in processing the results of this annual survey is reading the comments that our participants offer in the last open-ended question. We look forward with great anticipation to this feedback because traditionally it has been the only question that is unstructured — it's just a text box asking for any remarks our members would like to contribute. Of course there's always a tremendous spectrum of responses, from "ILTA ROCKS!" and "You need to ask more questions on 'X'" to this year's off-the-wall remark, "Our choice of toaster is Procter Silex." (Yes, we also got the loud and clear message on the length of the survey.) Surveys of this type rely primarily on a structured data format — a question, followed by a list of response options. This format is efficient, in that it speeds the processes of both taking the survey and tabulating results. The downside of this format is that, if the data are to be valuable, the survey authors must do a good job understanding the range of possible answers. This year, Jim McCue, the newest member of the survey team, suggested that some additional open-ended questions might provide data that illuminate aspects of legal technology previously unexplored and give us some clues as to the questions we should be asking next year and years beyond. Although structured questions are valuable and provide an excellent snapshot of what law firms are doing, open-ended questions can provide feedback on topics that are difficult to anticipate or that might have a broad range of responses. In addition to structured and open-ended questions, we also asked some that were subjective, such as, "In your opinion, how does the firm's top management primarily view the IT department?" Although these questions provide less concrete data, the results are useful nonetheless. This survey should offer something of value to every reader as they look for data on where the profession is headed. We continue to find value by presenting the data in two ways: by total respondents and by size. 100 Peer to Peer We also continue to have a strong response rate to this survey, and this year we had 487 firms responding, representing over 90,000 attorneys and almost 200,000 total users. This level of participation is particularly gratifying since we know that IT departments are more challenged than ever to perform at high levels, and few of us have the luxury of elective tasks. This response rate adds a great deal of value to the data, and our thanks go out to all who took the time to participate. We did ask a little more of our respondents this year by requesting your opinions on certain topics, which meant more thought and time spent by respondents than it would have taken for simple check boxes. But again, we feel the trade-off in value is substantial. There were 477 responses that crossed the spectrum of new technologies our respondents felt were worth mentioning. The top six represented 71% of all answers. They include: Technology or trend that will be a major factor 27% 22% 9% BYOD/ Consumerization/ Mobile devices Cloud services Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) 6% 4% 3% Security iPads/Tablets Software-As-aServices (SaaS) Over one quarter of the responses were related to consumer devices. If you add "Cloud services" and "iPads/Tablets," over 50% of the responses were related to data outside the firm or data "in motion." This may explain why nearly 10% of responses were also related to security. Keep in mind that this question was not about what concerned our respondents, but what they felt would create significant change or be a "major factor" in our

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