A new study conducted by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) in conjunction with InsideLegal suggests a majority of law firms, 53%, report an increase to their technology budgets in 2016. In spite of this, survey respondents cite issues of security management, user adoption, risk management/compliance and email management as their “Top IT challenges in 2016.”
The 2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey, now in its 11th edition, debuted today during the ILTACON Annual Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
According to the study, the across-the-board increase to the technology budget represents a 12% growth rate compared to the year prior. The survey shows respondents in the small to mid-size law firm range report the biggest increases to their legal tech budgets in 2016, including:
- 39% of Small Firms (Firms with 1-49 attorneys)
- 38% of Medium Firms (Firms with 50-199 attorneys)
- 23% of Large Firms (Firms with 200 or more attorneys)
The survey indicates a majority of firms plan to spend the bulk of their legal technology budgets in the following key areas:
- 61%, Desktop Hardware/PCs
- 59%, Laptops/Notebooks
- 53%, Network Upgrades/Servers
- 44%, Printers/Multifunctional Devices
- 44% Antivirus/Antispam/Spyware Software
Not surprisingly as security continues to be top of mind for firms of all sizes, the survey reveals three new areas added to the “master list of purchases,” including:
- 27%, Security Awareness Training Services, Software and Content
- 27%, Security Monitoring Services for the Network
- 3%, Artificial Intelligence Technology
Of note, nearly 20 percent of respondents reported investing in analytical software within the last 12 months, representing an 11% increase from the year prior. Additionally, the study shows a quarter of firms plan to upgrade their cloud storage in the coming year, versus just 15% in the year prior.
In terms of who is requesting the purchase of technology for the firm, attorneys are at the top of the list with 72% making the request. Followed by:
- 42% Law Firm Administration
- 23% Litigation Department/Practice Support
- 23% Marketing
- 19% Staff
In the study, Head of Content & Legal Market Strategy for InsideLegal and survey co-contributor, Jobst Elster, stressed the importance of using the study findings to better understand where the legal tech business is headed:
“When we first issued this survey back in 2006, our mission was clear, to provide legal technology companies, in particular those invested in ILTA, with details on ILTA member firm budgeting, technology purchases (actual and planned), technology purchasing influences and details on legal technology trends and legal IT challenges. Over time, the survey has evolved into a ‘firm-forward’ resource with budgeting, technology purchasing, trending data, and service provider satisfaction data firms themselves increasingly use for benchmarking and as an important data point of their competitive intelligence strategy.
My point … inhale this survey, make time to read it, analysis it and discuss it with your peers because chances are your customers and prospects have already done so.”
For more ILTACON 2016 updates visit: http://insidelegal.typepad.com/files/. In addition for those attending this year’s ILTACON Conference, be sure to visit the LexisNexis at booth #217 for product-related demos and updates.