Peer to Peer

June 2009

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Page 17 of 99 18 Peer to Peer having worked in what is generally termed a "small firm" for many years, we've had to develop and maintain lean, mean IT teams as a way of life. By working to standardize equipment and applications, by training your staff well, by creating an environment that allows everyone to take full advantage of the technology that's in place, you can't help but do more with less. Our collective challenge is always to attract, train and retain high caliber professionals who support solid firm standards. I wrote all about it a couple years ago, in ILTA's paper, "The Changing Role of the CIO," you'll find: "Trim Your Standards to Inflate Your Team — A Tongue-in-Cheek Look at IT Staffing." Jenn Steele Morrison Mahoney LLP My biggest challenge right now is that, although we're in the midst of budget cuts, my network and server infrastructure has been managed according to the "big bang" theory, and 2009 has definitely exploded! (The firm spent lots of money four years ago and hasn't really done anything since. So . . . BANG!) I've been given the funds to solve it mostly because we have encountered some severe problems, and business needs have trumped shoestring budgets. That means, however, that I have to be prepared to show a business requirement for everything I'm doing. The other side of the coin is that I put the negotiations class I took in business school to good use — I'm negotiating EVERYTHING. It takes a fair amount of time, but sometimes just a simple question about price is enough to get a discount. What's the toughest challenge you're now facing in dealing with budget/staff constraints in your firm or law department? ASK CIO THE Joshua de Koning Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. fiRM aDMinistRatoR austin, tx number of attorneys: 38 number of offices: 1 Uncertainty is a big challenge for me. We are working very hard to manage our costs, with primary goals of maintaining our standards of excellent client service and avoiding personnel cutbacks. With those being our priorities, we must consider delaying projects that aren't absolutely necessary, such as an upgrade to Office 2007. I lead a terrific team of great people who are all focused on our primary goals. At the same time, it's frustrating to be unsure of whether we will or won't be moving forward with the exciting and challenging projects we planned. The uncertainty and frustration can be detrimental to morale and motivation. It's important for me constantly strive to find other avenues to keep our team engaged, challenged and pulling together. Shirley Crow Farella Braun + Martel chiEf infoRMation officER san fRancisco, ca number of attorneys: 130 number of offices: 2 it DiREctoR boston, Ma number of attorneys: 165 number of offices: 9 . . . my network and server infrastructure has been managed according to the "big bang" theory, and 2009 has definitely exploded!

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