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Legal Information Technology Professionals Anticipate Investments in Key Technologies in 2009

15 Apr, 2009

Legal Information Technology Professionals Anticipate Investments in Key Technologies in 2009

Andover, MA – With an eye on business conditions in their industry while preparing for the future, more than half of law firms anticipate continuing or expanding their rate of investment in IT solutions in 2009. According to a recently completed survey sponsored by Omtool, Ltd. (OMTL.PK), a leading provider of document capture and handling solutions, projected legal IT spending for 2009 is more positive than first anticipated.

As firms continue to seek ways to cut costs and streamline productivity, the survey results indicate that executives at the CIO, CTO, COO and director level recognize that technology can help them achieve these goals. Roughly 42 percent of survey respondents say that spending will remain flat, while nearly 11 percent predict an uptick in their IT investments. Respondents noted that business process improvement, cost recovery, and the customer experience, are their top three initiatives for the coming year.

Of the 47 percent of respondents who indicated a decrease in spending, many noted the value of technology, but also the need for more immediate ROI from current investments. In response, Omtool, drawing on its extensive experience working with approximately 300 legal customers, including nearly 50 percent of the top 100 US law firms, recommends:

• Focusing on Productivity Enhancements – Decrease labor-intensive manual processes with automation; efficiently manage print-related and paper-based costs; and consolidate hardware and service agreements related to printing and document capture needs.

• Leveraging/Expanding IT Infrastructure – Re-assess existing infrastructure to determine how to better use what is already in place. For example, document capture and handling solutions can expand a company’s existing enterprise content management system or fax infrastructure to integrate both paper and electronic documents.

• Reducing Enterprise-Wide Mandates – IT and document-related policies are often handled on a corporate level. As companies focus on reducing costs, new initiatives should start at the department-level – a bottom-up approach. Once they are proven to be cost-effective, successful initiatives can be expanded corporate-wide.

• Aligning Paper and Electronic Documents and Records – After years of separate document processes, infrastructure, and record retention policies, companies should align paper and electronic document workflows for greater consistency and productivity, and more efficient business processes. As these processes dovetail, documents become highly accessible for enterprise-wide search, archiving, and e-discovery.

“Based on the survey results, we are pleased to see that the daily reports regarding our economy are not halting productivity altogether,” said Karen Cummings, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Omtool. “There is no doubt that organizations will continue to tighten belts, but many recognize that wise investments can tighten belts even further. By taking proactive, process-driven measures now, organizations in both the legal community and beyond can prepare for their futures by having a more streamlined organization that is ready to compete. Those who indiscriminately cut costs without a strategic focus on the future will be left behind.”

The research was conducted in February 2009 and includes the opinions and input from more than 55 IT professionals, from CIOs through IT managers with oversight on IT purchases for the coming year. Typical respondents hold strategic IT positions including CIO, COO, VP of IT, IT director, IT manager, IT staff, and IT consultant.

Omtool, Ltd. is a leading provider of document capture and handling solutions that simplify the integration of paper and electronic documents in enterprise information management systems. Its flagship product family, AccuRoute, streamlines the capture, conversion, communication, and archiving of paper and electronic documents, enabling fast, secure, and simultaneous distribution to multiple destinations in multiple formats. For more info contact 1-800-886-7845 or visit www.omtool.com.

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