InsideLegal's Jobst Elster writes a bi-monthly column "Thinking out Cloud" for the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) member publication, Legal Management. As you probably figured out, he focuses on all things cloud computing related in this ...


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Thinking Out Loud About the Cloud

ALA Legal Management Magazine.InsideLegal's Jobst Elster writes a bi-monthly column "Thinking out Cloud" for the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) member publication, Legal Management. As you probably figured out, he focuses on all things cloud computing related in this series. Below are the last two articles in the "Thinking Out Cloud" series - one focused on 2017 cloud trends and predictions; and an interview with James Gast, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of legal IT consultancy SpliceNet, on cloud security and ethics.

Toc forecast      Toc interviews

In addition to his regular bi-monthly column, Jobst is also commissioned to write periodic features for Legal Management. The latest one focuses on The Billable Hour’s Grip on Legal. His next feature scheduled for the June issue will explore attorney technology competence and required tech skills in today's firm. 

Toc billable hour

If you are with a law firm and would like more information on ALA, visit their Membership page. If you are a vendor that would like to work with ALA, visit their Business Partner page. If you are interested in connecting with Jobst regarding his columns or features, please feel free to email him at


InsideLegal’s 2017 Legaltech NY Word Cloud (along with 7 year flashback)

Legaltech New YorkNext week, a few thousand people will convene at Legaltech New York (LTNY), part of an expanded Legalweek format, for three days of exhibitions, networking and legal technology sessions. To give an overview of what will be covered in those sessions, we have created our 7th annual LTNY agenda word cloud, visually displaying the words/themes included in the event's agenda of sessions. Based on the information from present/past word clouds and general event buzz , here are our initial observations:
  • eDiscovery surprise: Over the years, LTNY has taken on a larger focus on eDiscovery as well as a larger group of eDiscovery exhibitors and the word cloud supports that. Unfortunately, this has caused a stream of established non-eDiscovery vendors to shelve their attendance at the show. 
  • No such thing as a free lunch: The days of free LTNY exhibit/conference passes are now over. How will this impact attendance numbers and delegate quality? I feel this will really weed out the tire kickers/"what are you giving away?" visitors.
  • LegalCIO still picking up steam: Formerly the Law Firm Chief Information and Technology Officers Forum, the event aims to pack a punch with an intriguing 9 session, 6 roundtable agenda delivered by law firm C-levels, GCs and vendor sponsor executives. We have attended this event as well for the past 5 years and the sessions are impressive.
  • Investigations vs. AI: According to the 2017 word cloud, it's all about investigations (how do e-discovery, analytics, cross-border regulations and information governance impact them?!). What about artificial intelligence, one of the most popular, buzz-worthy term in late 2016? [Hint: It's to the left of eDiscovery]
  • What happened to the Codex start-up pavilion? Unfortunately, they were not invited in 2017. With startups rising up at unprecedented levels, these types of spotlights seem to make sense. 
Legaltech NY 2017 Agenda Word Cloud

FYI ... the size of selected words dictates how often they have been mentioned or referenced within the agenda (aka, how popular they are). [Click on image to enlarge]

This is the seventh year we have used the event program to create a visual snapshot of the main content themes and discussion topics. How does this compare to previous years? What topics made headlines in our word clouds for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011? Take a look and compare for yourself...  
Legaltech-NY-2016-Agenda Word Cloud-InsideLegal
LegalTech NY 2015 Agenda Word Cloud by InsideLegal



Subscribe to InsideLegal for LTNY updates and market information and follow us on Twitter at @InsideLegal for timely updates. 
The word cloud was pulled from the agenda located at minus speakers' information and includes words mentioned 3+ times.

2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey Released!

2016 ILTA InsideLegal Survey CoverInternational Legal Technology Association (ILTA), and InsideLegal, the insider’s guide to doing business in legal technology, today released the findings of the “2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey” (survey). The survey, which is distributed to all ILTA member law firms, includes detailed technology budget data; updated information on firms’ purchasing influences and patterns; legal IT department trends and challenges; and expansive sections on specific legal technology purchases – both last year’s and those planned for the upcoming year. 2016 survey findings were presented to the vendors at the ILTA/InsideLegal’s Vendor Education Program at ILTA’s Annual Conference, ILTACON, taking place at the Gaylord National Harbor, August 28-September 1, 2016.  

2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey highlights include:


  • 53% of all respondents cited increased budgets, a 12% growth rate compared to 2015. 39% of Small Firms (1-49 attys), 38% of Medium Firms (50-199 attys) and 23% of Large Firms (200+ attys) represent the increase.
  • 60% of all respondents spend between 1-3.99% of total firm revenue on technology.
  • 24% of respondents spend between 4-5.99% of total firm revenue on technology.
  • 22% of all respondents spend between $5,001-$8,000 per attorney on technology, followed by 20% who indicated spending $8,001-$11,000. 77% of survey respondents spend less than $17,000 on technology per attorney.


  • The top five technology purchases in 2016 include: desktop hardware/PCs (61%); laptops/notebooks (59%); network upgrades/servers (53%); printers/multifunctional devices (44%); and antivirus/antispam/spyware software (44%).
  • The ‘next five’ purchases include: Disaster Recovery/BC software & services (41%); security/network security/security assessment (40%); Smartphones (38%); cloud storage (34%); storage area networks (SAN) and telephone systems/upgrades (both 28%).
  • Microsoft Office 365 purchases increased to 16% (from 13%).
  • 17% of survey respondents purchased analytics software within the last 12 months, an 11% increase over annual purchases in 2015.
  • OS upgrades: 32% of all respondents are planning to upgrade within the next 12 months versus 16% in 2015.
  • Cloud storage: 25% of all respondents are planning to upgrade within the next 12 months versus 15% in 2015.
  • Newly added application/service areas included security awareness training services, software and content (27%); security monitoring services for the network (27%); and artificial intelligence technology (3%).
  • Internet research, peer recommendations, ILTA conferences, consultant recommendations and ILTA e-Groups are the top five influences when it comes to making legal IT purchasing decisions.


  • 70% of all survey respondents outsource printer repair/maintenance; website design and services (69%), followed by security assessment/penetration testing services (59%).
  • 11% of respondents are currently evaluating artificial intelligence technologies.
  • When asked how AI will influence legal, respondents mentioned eDiscovery (71%), document automation (41%), legal research (41%), contract analysis/automation (34%), and case/outcome predictions (24%).
  • According to survey respondents, most firm BYOD policies cover Smartphones (68%) and tablets (57%) with only 24% covering laptops.
  • Firms’ top IT challenges include security management (67%), user adoption/lack of training (42%), risk management/compliance (40%), and email management (39%).
  • 80% of this year’s respondents reported that they use outside technology consultants to assist with some aspect of firm operations, technology and infrastructure.

The entire 2016 survey report can also be downloaded at For questions and comments regarding the analysis and results, please contact Jobst Elster.


ILTACON Vendors - Don't Miss out on our 13th Annual ILTA/InsideLegal Vendor Education Program

VEP LogoILTACON 2016 is upon us... and another ILTACON conference also means an opportunity for us to offer a series of educational sessions to the ILTACON exhibitor community. InsideLegal has been partnering with ILTA for the past 12 years to produce the annual ILTA/InsideLegal Vendor Education Program. Below are the details for the 2016 program being held at the Gaylord National Harbor, Maryland, on Monday, August 29th. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to JoAnna Forshee with name, title, company and email address for each participant as space is limited. Below is information on the program.

What:     13th Annual ILTA/InsideLegal Vendor Education Program
When:    Monday, August 29th, 1:30-4 pm (feel free to attend entire program or a portion)
Where:   Gaylord National, Potomac 1 (Ballroom Level/Conference Side) [Map to Potomac 1]

Here's a detailed description of the program:

1:30-2:15p   ILTA Vendor Business Meeting
This session will include an opportunity to meet the ILTA staff and Board, receive an update on conference activities, and learn additional ways to work with ILTA throughout the year.
Faculty - Peggy Wechsler, ILTA Program Director

2:15-2:45p   InsideLegal Market Flash: 15 Tips for promoting your company/leveraging market(ing) resources
We know how valuable your time is on-site at ILTA, so this rapid fire session will pack in industry statistics and legal marketing information. The program will include topics such as: legal market statistics; the one thing EVERY legal vendor should do…and it’s free; where to get marketing research; stats on purchasing budgets and trends; working with the new legal media landscape; and content marketing insights. Walk away with tips, tricks and legal resources you can use immediately.
Faculty - JoAnna Forshee, InsideLegal CEO & Jobst Elster, InsideLegal Head of Content & Legal Market Strategy

2:45-3:30p   Legal Media Panel – Meet the editors’ panel discussion - Moderated by InsideLegal
InsideLegal has assembled a cadre of well established and reputable legal technology editors to participate in this ever popular legal media panel session. Panelists will tell you how to work with the media to get coverage for your products/services including how to submit news, how to best pitch ideas; and best practices of effective media relations.

3:30-4p   2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey Release - Purchasing Trends of ILTA Law Firms
Last but not least, we will be reviewing the results from this year’s ILTA member technology purchasing survey. The report includes data from more than 200 ILTA law firms of all sizes including: what percentage of firm revenue they spend on technology; what they purchased last year; what they will be purchasing next year; did their budgets increase or decrease; what vendors gave exceptional customer service; etc. Session attendees receive a hard copy report. [View 2015 Survey here]
Faculty - JoAnna Forshee, InsideLegal CEO & Jobst Elster, InsideLegal Head of Content & Legal Market Strategy


Complete your setup early Monday and make sure to join us for the program. To reserve your spot, don’t forget to RSVP to JoAnna Forshee with name, title, company and email address for each participant as space is limited.



ILTA Law Firms' Technology Purchases Broken Down by Firm Size

ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing SurveyAt ILTACON 2015 we released the 10th annual ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey which highlights the purchasing and budgeting habits of ILTA member law firms. One of the most popular questions included in the survey each year covers the technology purchases (by application areas) that participating firms made 'within the last 12 months'.

While the main survey report includes the totals for each application area, we've broken it out further by firm size and included it below in Chart and Table format. This is the first time this data drill-down has been released. You can visit our dedicated survey page for more background and details on the annual report.

The 2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey is currently being administered to ILTA law firm members with the results being released on Monday, August 29th at ILTACON.



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