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Internal and external efficiency: Making a success of IT at Ashursts

In their use of technology, law firms may be some steps behind other businesses, but they are learning fast and in some areas, digital dictation for example, they are positively leading the way. Chris White, global information technology director at Ashurst Morris Crisp, assesses the use of IT at Ashursts with a particular focus on their roll-out of digital dictation.

29 January 2003

Being relatively new to the legal profession, I believe that I am in a good position to look objectively at how law firms use technology. I have spent the majority of my career working in financial services in the City, specifically in investment management. Financial services companies tend to be “power users” of technology. This is both in terms of the complexity of the systems they run and in the stability required of them. Systems I have implemented for things such as performance measurement and attribution, risk management, fund management, and trading are hugely sophisticated and complex – far more than anything I have come across in the legal sector. Resilience is essential in a trading environment where you cannot afford to have any down time. If a business-critical system is down and the market moves against you, you could potentially be sitting on huge losses. Consequently, most financial services organisations invest heavily in resilience.

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