Stephen Brown, IT consultant at Lights-On Consulting shares his thoughts on how firms can effectively evaluate new technology – and how vendors could help.

It’s not uncommon to hear from senior management teams that have procured a solution or new software but are struggling to get it to deliver value.  It may seem an obvious point, but a software vendor has a professional sales team, whose job it is to sell their technology. Law firms meanwhile are rarely procurement specialists and it can be easy to end up with software that doesn’t quite meet your needs or deliver the expected value.

So how can you identify software that meets your needs and will deliver value?

Before embarking on a technology procurement project, it’s essential to have a period of discovery and education. Think about your requirements, pain points, ambitions and limitations. Broadly identify your requirements, then go out to market speculatively to talk to suppliers and find out what is available.

Consider what changes you will need to make to your processes, infrastructure and culture to allow the technology to achieve maximum impact. It is rare that new software will be ‘plug and play’, there will generally be an important piece of work to understand what changes need to be made to the business in order to achieve value.

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