Monday, February 24, 2014

The Wisdom of Colleagues: Results from the Start/Stop Survey: Paper is Out Apple Devices Are In.

 I am tempted to declare  2014 as the year of the dumpster and the iPhone.

The most overwhelming trend articulated by respondents to my January 3rd poll is the embrace of all things “Apple:” iPhones, iPads, minis, Macs. Theme number 2:  Paper is out. Respondents are ditching all manner of paper resources, reporters, transfer binders, archives, paper invoices, loose-leaf services, back issues of journals, books, files, CFRs, archival copies.
The two trends may be related. As light weight portable, personalized smart devices proliferate in law firms, and as publishers have responded with apps and platforms for streaming updates, it is becoming easier to abandon reliance on print. The one technology which was conspicuous by its absence is eBooks.
On the process and performance side, professionals are moving closer to the stakeholders, working in practice groups and for clients. New projects are "value added" initiatives to help lawyers work smarter or retain new business. Efficiency initiatives include centralization, reducing administrative work, and streamlining workflows.
The responses on the introduction and cancellation of various products highlights the ongoing engagement of information professionals in the analysis of ROI for existing products  and the continuous assessment of new products to meet emerging practice needs. In the "new normal" of law firms economics - there is  a "zero sum" budget process --- an old product must go for a new product to get in.
The responses below are derived from an informal online poll I conducted from January 3 through January 15th 2014.
New Initiatives: 

·        Competitive Intelligence Moved to Library

·        Establishing “roaming librarian program” using iPads

·        Participating in RFPs

·        News aggregations platform

·        Embedding research staff in practice groups

·        Working directly with clients

·        Creating a wiki or a blog

·        Knowledge management initiative

·        Moving document storage to the cloud

·        Implementing research workflow tool

·        Creating workflow for digital license renewal tracking and ROI

·        Centralized billing

·        Barcoding the collection

·        Creating practice guides for practice group pages

·        Add web discovery to OPAC

·        Saving all research in a filesite folder 

New Products 


·        MS Lync

·        iPass

·        Asana – Project management software 

Research Products

·        Intelligize

·        TLO

·        BloombergBNA

·        RBSource

·        WeslawNext

·        Knowledge Mosaic

·        Manzama

·        PLC (now called Practical Law PL)

·        Asana – Project management software
Free resources

·        Feedly



The End of Print

Respondents are ditching all manner of paper resources, reporters, transfer binders, archives, invoice files,loose-leaf services, back issues of journals, books, files, CFRs. To the extent the people are retaining print they are engaged in streamlining processes relating to the handling of print. 
Processes Stopped

·        Binding law reviews

·        Original cataloging

·        Stamping books with library name

·        Recovering for online research

·        Delegating invoice processing to a clerk

·        Don’t automatically give both Lexis and WL passwords to attorneys

·        Distributing deskbooks

·        Routing print periodicals

Technology Abandoned

·        Blackberries
Products Cancelled

·        Move to sole provider cancelling either Westlaw or Lexis

·        Intelligize

·        Loislaw

·        Intelliconnect

·        Westlaw Business 

Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey!

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