Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 60 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 62 FEATURES A MARKETABLE SKILL SET In the past few years, several legal CIOs have ditched their law firms to move into marketing roles at technology companies selling to legal — a move which seems logical. Today's marketing, after all, is entrenched in technology — from basic social media to complex analytics and pricing. The skill sets needed to be successful in either role are similar: Technology Skills: Technology continuously evolves, directly affecting everyone in the firm. The most successful CIOs need a good mix of technology skills and marketing skills to keep everyone on board with the changes. Selling the Story: Beyond simply maintaining operations, CIOs must "sell" their vision, strategy and projects. They sell to their board, partners and others in the firm, including the IT team. In no other role within the law firm is the ability to sell a vision and a story more important. Understanding the Firm Business: The role of CIO incorporates HR by virtue of team leadership and management, finance by virtue of budgeting, and, as discussed, marketing. Good CIOs understand the capabilities of data analytics and have a healthy appreciation for the business of law (important for any C-suite member to succeed). CAPITALIZING ON OPPORTUNITIES There are many other opportunities available for current CIOs. How do you identify and capitalize on chances to progress beyond your current IT leadership role? Change Firms: As in the rest of the business world, climbing the management ladder requires flexibility. Based on what openings exist within your organization, you might have to look elsewhere to gain opportunities. help streamline operations, CLOC members voiced concerns of not receiving the full value from their relationships with firms. The calls of organizations such as CLOC are beginning to be heard. More progressive firms are realizing the value of empowering management professionals such as CIOs to interact directly with clients. While law firms have historically adopted change at a glacial pace, the management structures of firms must eventually evolve to more closely resemble businesses. CIOs have an opportunity to gain influence within the constraints of their current roles while also encouraging how their firms' structures evolve. Some changes will occur organically, while others might require intervening acts, such as a change in managing partner, a merger or an acquisition. When the role of CIO was taking off in the early 2000s, journalists joked that "CIO" stood for "career is over." Needless to say, they were wrong. The talk today is about how CIOs need to have a seat at the management table because they are adding value to the business. Where are CIOs currently? What is their next evolution? MORE ACCESS TO (AND INFLUENCE FOR) CIOS Market turmoil has provided the catalyst for some firms to change how they operate. Proponents for change have raised their voices and are having an impact. For instance, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), a group of corporate legal operations managers, have called for more transparency from outside counsel and more interaction with law firm CIOs, CMOs and other professionals. During a panel discussion with several CLOC members at a legal technology conference last year, panel members expressed disappointment with how firms limited their interactions only to partners. Without access to CIOs and CMOs who can CIOs Taking On New and Expanded Roles

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