Extract from Rob Meadow’s article “Prioritizing Your Law Firm’s IT Budget for 2023”
The end of 2022 closes out two years of high uncertainty—a pandemic, supply-chain delays, a war, market downturns and crypto implosions, among other complications—leaving many law firms wondering how and where to align their technology budgets for best use in 2023. It is tempting to say firm leaders are in unfamiliar territory, but those with a history in the field are aware that, while certain aspects of our times may be unique, careful planning and budgeting can provide for the needed safe harbor when the clouds darken and seas turn unexpectedly rough.
To create that safe space for their firms in 2023, law firm leaders will appropriately evaluate their staffing levels and technology investments. Planning and budgeting for legal technology investments in 2023 are certain to be high on legal professionals’ list of items that may be put off until the skies clear and seas calm. While large corporations seem to be making five-figure layoffs of personnel commonplace (e.g., Meta, Amazon, Twitter), those cost-saving measures may not even enter the realm of consideration for law firms.
But is putting off necessary technology investments the right approach? It may appear to be very alluring. Certainly, a law firm can operate without certain technologies as long as they have lawyers, right? To the contrary, as the pandemic and stay-at-home orders illustrated, that is not always the case. With remote/hybrid environments, law firms find themselves resolving to maintain a greater investment in security, connectivity and continuity. So law firm leaders will need to continue investments in the technologies that allow them to support operations no matter the state of the economy or public health or other security concerns.