Survey: 88 Percent of Law Firm CIOs Reducing BlackBerry Support

— November 06, 2012

Large law firm chief information officers are supporting their lawyers' use of Apple and Android personal devices for firm business, as an overwhelming 88 percent expect to reduce BlackBerry support over the next 12 months, according to the annual survey of law technology in the November issue of ALM's The American Lawyer and online at americanlawyer.com. However, only 7 percent of technology managers plan to migrate their enterprise systems to Microsoft's touchscreen-friendly Windows 8 operating system in the next year.

While allowing personal smartphone, tablet, and other device use, law firm CIOs are still wrestling with the security issues these devices present, according to the survey. Nearly two-thirds of the firms prohibit lawyers from using cloud storage and synchronization services on mobile devices, and a similar number use mobile device management (MDM) software to exercise some control. On the other hand, 80 percent place no restriction on mobile apps that can be downloaded to personal devices used for work.

At the enterprise level, however, cloud computing is becoming more widely accepted, with 50 percent of CIOs reporting increased usage compared to last year; only 3 percent are using it less. Still, opinions diverge dramatically on which applications should move to the cloud.

CIO morale is high, with 90 percent of respondents reporting satisfaction with management's technology-related decisions and 84 percent satisfied with their compensation. Compensation of between $300,000 and $399,999 was reported by 36 percent, up from 25 percent last year. The group earning $400,000 or more shrank slightly to 24 percent of the total, compared to 26 percent the year before.

Firm technology budgets are stable. Only 15 percent of CIOs report more than 10-percent increases in capital budgets compared to last year; 11 percent see decreases of more than 10 percent. Operating budgets rose more than 10 percent at only six percent of firms, while another six percent experienced decreases of that magnitude.

Social networking technology is being used to some degree by 75 percent of responding firms. Among them, LinkedIn is used by 90 percent, Twitter by 64 percent, and Facebook by 61 percent.

The survey is based on responses from 83 Am Law 200 firms between mid-July and mid-September.

Complete technology survey results are available for purchase in Excel format from ALM Legal Intelligence at http://www.almlegalintel.com/Surveys/AmLawTech. The nonequity partner compensation data is part of the Am Law 200 survey, available at http://www.almlegalintel.com/Surveys/AmLaw200.

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