Spring Cleaning for Your Law Firm’s IT

March 3, 2020

When it comes to modernizing and streamlining IT, how does your law firm stack up against others? If your law firm is anything like Latham & Watkins used to be, you may be dealing with too many open incidents that are too old. With lawyers waiting on IT, and IT bogged down by manual processes, it’s little wonder smaller firms are losing clients to bigger firms that have the time and budget to focus on gaining new clients.

One way to clean up IT processes and launch ahead of the competition is to implement an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform. By implementing ServiceNow, for example, Latham & Watkins realized an 80 percent decrease in open incidents. The best ITSM platforms streamline workflow, collect actionable statistics, improve the employee (and client) experience, and better allocate IT resources to address more mission-critical technology needs. So, as spring rolls around, dig into your ITSM needs and plant seeds for new workflow efficiency opportunities by doing the following:

Straighten Out Inefficiencies

If you have few or no automated IT processes in place, you are probably dealing with unnecessary inefficiency. Such inefficiency ripples out to other areas of the business, such as HR. For example, Macfarlanes, a corporate law firm headquartered in London, was dealing with inefficient HR workflows they refer to as the “starters, movers, and leavers” processes. These processes are directly tied to tasks assigned to IT. When new employees joined the firm, the process of (1) getting them set up with the right technology and (2) providing them access to various applications related to their specific role was painfully manual, slow, and open to human error. This not only slowed their time to “get to work,” but it didn’t reflect well on the employee’s view of the firm, either.

Macfarlanes took action by implementing ServiceNow ITSM. Today, the moment a new employee’s information enters the HR system, it is sent to IT, and a ticket is created in the ITSM system. From there, ServiceNow assigns the ticket to the proper resource(s) and prioritizes it in the queue. IT then knows exactly what needs to be done, for whom, and by when. Per service-level agreements (SLAs), the ticket is worked and ultimately closed. The employee walks into the firm on their first day, sits down at their desk, and can get to work right away because they have the technology and applications they need to be productive.

Get Your Stats Together

If you’re not collecting or using statistics, you may be falling behind the competition—and that goes for competition within and outside of the legal industry. To illustrate this point, RELX Group surveyed senior executives in healthcare, insurance, legal, science, banking, and government. They found that among all the industries, legal utilized big data the least.

There’s a reason data is a staple across businesses: it can do so much to help pinpoint areas for improvement and what needs to be done. Even if your law firm is functioning at a high level without data, data and analytics can take your firm to a higher plane. Global law firm Latham & Watkins, for example, found that utilizing statistics was a huge part of improving their ITSM maturity.

“Before [we had ServiceNow], we would spend hours manually manipulating data in spreadsheets and we never had time to look at the data in different ways,” says Sheila Stanton, global HR senior manager at Latham & Watkins. “Now, we can instantly slice and dice our metrics, giving us valuable insights.”

Before Macfarlanes’s IT department started collecting comprehensive statistics, they were using Skype for Business for their IT service desk solution. There was an outage one day, and their service delivery manager requested a report to show things like the number of abandoned calls that resulted from an outage. But the service desk manager had no stats to use to create a report. They were left having to guess at what negative impact the outage caused.

With ServiceNow in place, they can quickly access performance analytics data and use that information to make decisions that can improve IT operations. They are able to track metrics like the number of open and overdue incidents, how often reports are run and how long it takes them to run, and how the health and behavior of processes measure up to organizational targets. With these statistics, if anything goes wrong, they have the information to tell them how they can handle it better in the future. Improving operations is all about knowing what dials and levers to address, and ServiceNow ITSM’s data analytics allows you to do so quickly and confidently.

Make Your IT Department Shine

Departments in a law firm are only as useful as they are utilized. If lawyers and other staff members don’t trust or aren’t utilizing your IT department, it’s time for positive disruption. Because what’s the point of an IT department if employees would rather handle IT problems on their own?

At Macfarlanes, for example, lawyers were not receiving the service they expected from IT. The pattern was this: they would experience an IT problem and ask the IT service desk for help. IT would be slow to respond or would respond only for the issue to get buried. As a result, lawyers stopped asking for help and instead dealt with IT issues themselves.

By implementing the ServiceNow self-service portal functionality, IT was able to offer a quick, easy, and effective method for helping employees handle their IT requests and needs in a timely and transparent fashion. Employees’ requests for assistance no longer fell into the abyss. In turn, employees started to turn to IT once again, and the trust between IT and the rest of the firm was re-established and made even stronger.

As spring begins to spring to life, breathe new life into your ITSM workflows and processes by removing unnecessary roadblocks to modernizing and streamlining your IT operations. Consider exploring ServiceNow ITSM as a leap forward in doing so.

Reach out at LetsTalk@crossfuze.com to learn more about ServiceNow ITSM.

For additional helpful and insightful legal IT resources, click here.

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