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TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February 2006 1 Table of Contents Introduction Background & Research Methodology Research Methodology Charted Findings.

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Presentation on theme: "TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February 2006 1 Table of Contents Introduction Background & Research Methodology Research Methodology Charted Findings."— Presentation transcript:

1 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Table of Contents Introduction Background & Research Methodology Research Methodology Charted Findings Sample Profile IT Equipment Internet & Usage Back-Up Policies Virus Protection Remote Access IT Management Management Summary Tabular Report Appendix - Questionnaire

2 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Introduction

3 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Background & Research Methodology The Technology Committee of the Law Society is responsible for the education of its members in the use of IT resources in the conduct of their business. It sought to examine the extent of IT usage amongst solicitors in the Republic of Ireland. A CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interview) survey of 200 solicitor firms was undertaken to address this objective. The sample was nationally representative, with quotas set on region of firm, and size of firm. A structured questionnaire was agreed, on consultation between the Technology Committee and TNS mrbi. Fieldwork took place between 19 th and 30 th January, 2006.

4 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Charted Findings

5 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Sample Profile

6 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Sample Profile Base: All Respondents: 200 Area % No. of partners/ Principals % No. of Other Staff % No. of solicitors In firm % Presence Of Dedicted IT Person % Dublin Rest of Leinster Munster Conn/ Ulster DK Avr 2 None DK Avr Yes No

7 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February IT Equipment

8 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Computer Hardware Packages Used Base: All Respondents: 200 RegionNo. of Solicitors DublinRoLMunsterConn/Uls %%%% Q.5 Which, if any, of the following types of hardware does your firm use? *Any Computer refers to any desktop PC, any networked PC, or any laptop.

9 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Computer Software Packages Used Base: All Respondents: 200 No. of Solicitors %% Q.4 And which, if any, of the following, computer software packages are used in your firm?

10 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Accounts Management Base: All Respondents: 200 Harvest Key House/Sam 3 Accountancy Software Packages Base: All whose accounts are computerised: 164 More likely to be: Dublin/Munster Smaller firms Q.2 In the main, are your accounts manual or computerised? Q.3 And which, if any, of the following accountancy software packages does your firm use? Italax Safe Law Opsis/Millennium BCL Law Lex Alpha Law Big Red Book Sage Other Don t Know

11 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Network Upgrades Base: All With Networked PCs: 156 Those who updated regularly More likely to be: Dublin firms Larger firms Q.5a When did you last upgrade any part of your Computer Network (i.e. upgrade the server etc. As opposed to buying a new PC)?

12 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Internet & Usage

13 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Office Internet Access Base: All Respondents: 200 Q.6 Does your firm have Internet access in the office, or not? Q.7 Does your firm have broadband in the office, or not? More likely to be: Outside Dublin firms Smaller firms Internet AccessBroadband

14 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Staff Internet Usage Base: All with Internet access & all with relevant staff Yes No Partners/AssistantOther PrincipalsSolicitorsStaff %% Q.8 Which of the following types of employees use the internet in your firm? Non - usage more likely to be: Outside Dublin firms Smaller firms

15 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Types Of Information Obtained Base: All with Internet Access: 199 The Land Registry Courts Service website in general Companies Registration Office Govt. Bodies generally Revenue on-line services Members section – Law Society webpage Legal diary (Courts Service website) Irish Statutes on-line Forms from Courts Service website Rules from Courts Service website Law Society library catalogue Planning authorities Judgements from Courts Service website Law searchers BAIL II NoYes Outside Dublin, smaller firms Smaller firms Dublin firms, smaller firms Smaller firms Outisde Dublin, larger firms Outside Dublin, larger firms Outiside Dublin, smaller firms Larger firms Dublin, Medium firms Dublin, larger firms Outside Dublin, larger firms Larger firms Outside Dublin, larger firms Q.9 Has the internet been used by anyone in your firm to obtain information from any of the following? More likely to access…

16 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Usage Base: All who have Internet access: 199 Q.10 Do any solicitors in your firm use in the course of their business Q.11 In general about how often do solicitors in your firm use internally with colleagues in the office? Q.12 In general about how often do solicitors in your firm use with clients? Q.13 And in general about how often do solicitors in your firm use with the courts service? Dublin, larger firms No 7% Yes With Courts Service With Clients Yes 93% General Use Internally with colleagues in office Frequency x Type of Usage Base: All using 185

17 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Firm Website Base: All Respondents: 200 More likely to be: Outside Dublin Smaller firms Q.14 Does your firm have a website? Q.15 In your opinion, how useful has the firms website been in generating new business for your firm? Very useful Fairly useful Not particularly useful Not at all useful Dont know Usefulness of Website Base: All who have a website: 47 Incidence of Firm having a Website

18 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Back-Up Policies

19 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Back-Up Policy Base: All Respondents: 200 Q.16 Does your firm have any type of back up policy that is, are solicitors computers files saved onto a disc, CD or tape? Q.17 Does your firm employ an external company to back up computer files, or are back ups done manually by staff on disc, CD etc? More likely to be: Dublin firms Presence of Back-up Policy External/Manual Back-Up Base: All who have back-up policy: 188 More likely to be: Outside Dublin firms Smaller firms

20 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Virus Protection

21 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Virus Protection Base: All Respondents: 200 Q.18 Does your company have anti-virus software on its computers (e.g. McAfee, Doctor Solomon, Norton etc)? Q.19 Is this Anti-virus software up-dated automatically or do you have to up-date in manually? Presence of Anti-Virus Software Manual/Automatic Update Base: All with anti-virus software: 196 Q.20 And how often is this software updated automatically is it …….. ? Daily Weekly Monthly Dont know Frequency of Automatic Updates Base: All whose anti-virus software updates automatically: 156

22 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Remote Access

23 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Remote Access For Solicitors Base: All Respondents: 200 More likely to be: Outside Dublin Smaller firms Q.21 Can solicitors in your firm access the office network remotely from their homes?

24 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February External Staff & Remote Access Base: All Respondents: 200 Q.22 Does your firm have any external typists or support staff? Q.23 Can these external typists or support staff access the office network remotely from their homes? More likely to be: Dublin firms Larger firms Presence of External Typists/Support Staff Remote Access For External Typists/Support Staff Base: All with external typists/support staff: 38

25 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Voic Activated Landlines Base: All Respondents: 200 More likely to be: Larger firms Q.24 Does your firm have voic activated on the landlines in the office?

26 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February IT Management

27 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February IT Management Base: All Respondents: 200 Internal External company Yes No Internal/External IT Management % Q.25 Do you manage your IT internally or do you outsource the management of IT to an external company? Q.26 Do you have an IT support contract with an external company? Q.27 Do you have a dedicated IT person within the firm, or is it part of your or someone elses job? Presence of IT Support Contract With External Company % Incidence of Dedicated IT Person % Yes No – part of my/someone elses job

28 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary

29 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary IT Equipment Overall, basic IT technology ownership amongst solicitors is very high, with all firms owning at least a computer and printer. Larger firms (11+ solicitors) have significantly more advanced hardware (e.g. scanners, laptops, digital dictators, PDAs, etc). Smaller firms, (i.e. one solicitor) are more reliant on desktop PCs, albeit for their size, a proportion of these firms do have access to more recent hardware (e.g. laptops, etc). More recently developed technology – such as digital dictators & PDAs, are less utilised by solicitors, especially in smaller firms and those outside Dublin. Not surprisingly, given the computer penetration, all firms use a word processing package, however usage of other software programmes is substantially lower. Less than a third use document management and case management programmes. Larger firms dominate with a range of software programmes used. In terms of accounts management, the vast majority of firms are using a computer package (over 4 out of 5). The range of packages being used is very wide, but Harvest is used by almost one in four firms.

30 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary Internet and Usage Virtually all firms have some form of internet access. 4 in 5 firms have broadband, however the latter is less likely to be available in Munster, Connacht/Ulster and in smaller law firms. In general Internet usage is high amongst all staff in solicitors firms, but is lower among partners/principals than other staff. The Land Registry, The Courts Service, Companies Registration Office, Governemnt bodies generally, Revenue and the Members Section of the Law Society website were the most commonly used web resources. The least used websites were; Law Society library catalogue, planning authorities, judgements from the Courts Service website, Law Searchers and BAILII. was used by virtually all firms, most frequently to communicate with clients. contact with the Courts Service was used least of all measured. Despite high internet and usage, only one quarter of firms have their own website, and even amongst these, less than 2 in 5 felt they were useful in generating business. Smaller firms and those outside Dublin were least likely to have their own website.

31 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary Back-Up Policy and Virus Protection 94% of firms have some form of back-up policy. The vast majority of firms are using manual back-up to secure files etc. Incidence of anti-virus protection programmes is almost universal. The majority of these update automatically, at least once a week. Only 31% of solicitors have remote access from their homes – higher amongst larger firms. One quarter of external typists/support staff have access (note; only 19% employ these staff.) 44% have voic activated landlines in their office. IT Management Just over half of respondents have any of their IT managed externally, while 3 out of 5 have an IT support contract with an external IT support company. Only 11% of firms have a dedicated IT person, which, not surprisingly is higher amongst larger firms.

32 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary Research Conclusions It is clear that the overall picture in terms of the development of IT equipment is bright, with almost universal ownership of basic hardware amongst solicitors firms. However, larger firms appear to have a more sophisticated level of IT technology, compared to their smaller counterparts. As such, the focus going forward should be placed on developing and expanding IT, especially amongst smaller firms. Given that 8% of all solicitors still operate manual accounts, advice in this area is important. A key area of importance going forward will be the development and promotion of guidelines relating to Accounts Management packages, with a plethora of different packages – of varying suitablility - currently in use. In general, larger firms utilise more software packages for their businesses, compared to smaller firms.

33 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Management Summary Research Conclusions Ctd. An opportunity exists for training solicitors (with focus on smaller firms) in the use of web resources such as BAILII, Planning Authorities, Law Searchers and Judgements from the Courts Service Webiste. Usage of , while high overall, is more frequently used by larger firms. In addition, communication with the Courts Service is limited. Improvement in this area would be advised. Firms also need to embrace web marketing into the future. Finally, the necessity for back-up policies must be instilled amongst the 6% of firms who do not back up their files.

34 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Tabular Report

35 TNS mrbi/136941/Law Society IT Survey/February Appendix - Questionnaire


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