Microsoft was always the business software of choice for a large proportion of legal organisations, but in the last two plus years, the nearly wholesale adoption of the software as a service model has completely changed how firms view cloud computing. Microsoft, once again, is at the forefront, not just with Azure, but also with the various tools that it provides via Microsoft 365. If you look at Microsoft Teams alone, adoption in the legal sector has jumped to 42 percent, from just 4 percent in 2020.
Teams is of course just only one of the numerous productivity tools that Microsoft provides. The Microsoft ecosystem is expansive – there are 300,000 plus Microsoft partners involved in 95 per cent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue. Despite this, when organisations deploy technology, most tend to look at applications, systems and solutions in a siloed manner – i.e., the focus is on implementing the best functional application for their needs. Without a doubt, selecting the right application – based on functionality, cost, and so on – is critical, but there’s a larger ROI consideration that is often overlooked, because not enough attention is paid to optimising the overall IT infrastructure.
Technology partners have a role to play
Organisations are spending significant sums of money on purchasing multiple solutions from multiple providers and hosting all sorts of software – it is a business requirement – but at the same time it’s incumbent on technology specialists – like us – to help customers to take a holistic view of their IT environment so that they can rationalise and optimise their overall investment. An understanding of things such as what do firms have in their toolbox?, what is the adoption of those tools in the business?, what is the user experience of those solutions?, what issues are preventing higher usage of those applications?, what level of resources are those applications consuming?, is the licensing being optimised? – and the list goes on – is important.
There are many analytical tools that technology vendors have access to and expertise in to help customers gain a better insight into their environment. For instance, recently, our engineering team whilst working on a project discovered that one of our customers had been paying too much for virtual machine usage. So, the team delved into the firm’s current IT strategy to understand their system needs and working with Microsoft discovering what Microsoft agreements they had in place, how they were being utilised and how those agreements could be optimised to eliminate waste and reduce costs. With virtual storage and hosting, for example, it is possible to have sight of the peaks and troughs in usage so that provisioning is more finetuned to actual business needs. Within our team we offer our clients complimentary access to subject matter experts who can work with them to better align the tools, the strategy and the spend to get a more holistic outcome from their spend and even help in setting priorities amongst the countless new technology projects.
Furthermore, this kind of approach should never be a one off. Technology optimisation is a continuous process to ensure incremental gains. Take Power BI – it’s a fantastic tool that enables real-time data analysis of course, but also predictive exploration, enabling you to pull data from your finance, CRM and legal process systems and understand where you can really improve your service and client experience and where of course you have that all important competitive advantage.
In essence, Microsoft has a massive dominance in the market, providing core IT infrastructure and a multitude of tools for the enterprise. However, they don’t have specific domain expertise, but their partners – like us in the legal sector – have the knowledge, which is why Microsoft partners with us so that we in turn can help customers gain the most from the Microsoft technology stack.
We are here to help. If your firm is looking for guidance and assistance, please get in touch with us via email@example.com. Our engineering and professional services teams have years of Microsoft and legal domain expertise to assist.