Hand with stack of money

Linked – For ‘Unhappy’ Law Firms, There’s Little Recourse From Fast Rising Legal Tech Prices

With all the announcements from Microsoft Ignite about Teams Premium, SharePoint Premium, CoPilot, etc. these subscription costs are about to get even higher if firms want to keep up with technological changes.

And this will remain a massive problem:

“You’ve got to sell subscriptions because. if you sell software people buy it and then they don’t upgrade for three or four years. Microsoft figured that out and now you can only lease it from them.” The CIO added that eventually, “they jack up [the price], and not just 4% or 5% a year, but 10% and 15% a year. … And once the practice starts to rely on it, it’s really hard to tell them no.”

For this particular AmLaw 200 firm, these rising subscription costs have made their tech budget become one of fast-growing expenditures in the firm. Of course, there are ways to slow down budgetary growth, such as doing audits of tech stacks and keeping an eye on what can be eliminated to make the budgets leaner.

While the CIO would ”love to do that” they said that if “certain important partners” are attached to the particular tool, the IT departments will simply have to find the cash to fund it—even if that means cutting down on something else.

It’s a combination of things. One, every firm I’ve ever been associated with has some technology that maybe a handful of people even use, but you cannot pry it from their hands. They have enough power to make sure the firm continues to pay for it year after year.

Secondly, there’s a lot of repetitive technology. That is in part because people like their tools and refuse to part with them, but also because some firms lack the expertise to track large platforms like M365 and all of the technology they are actually licensed to use, or the expertise to train their users. Think about it, how many firms are still paying for file-sharing services because navigating SharePoint is too complicated? Or how many are using third-party polling or planning tools? How many pay for basic dashboard creation instead of figuring out the dashboard capabilities of their billing software?

Heck, how many pay for internal investigative tools and eDiscovery tools that do the same thing under different names? Or who owns an entire eDiscovery review platform but never uses it for anything that isn’t doc review?

As I mentioned at the start though, your budget can’t afford to just keep adding more and more to the tech stack. Eventually, you’d do yourself a huge favor by getting rid of some of it too. How are you going to get that past those loud partners though?


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