Until recently, it was common for law firms to treat pretty much every employee the same from an IT perspective. Most people worked in the office and everyone required access to broadly the same applications and systems, so managing IT needs at an employee level was relatively straightforward.
But now, times have changed, and the sudden growth of flexible working means that the ‘one size fits all’ approach of old is no longer suitable. Many employees now want and expect to work some days each week at home, some days each week in the office, and to be able to move seamlessly from one to the other across a range of different devices.
But even this isn’t a uniform development: different employees will want to be more flexible, and use more applications and devices than others. For example, an ultra-mobile fee earner will need access to a vast array of technology, whereas an office receptionist would need only a relatively basic suite of tools and wouldn’t need any remote working tech.
This leaves many legal IT teams with a conundrum: how can they provide personalised experiences without over-complicating IT estate management, patching, updates and security.
The answer, as you’ll read here, is a persona-based legal IT strategy:
Creating a persona-based legal IT strategy
The basic principles of creating personas for IT are pretty much the same as the way marketing teams have done for years. The idea is that ‘template’ individuals are created, that are a broad-brush representation of a certain group of users within the business.
The information within each persona is detailed, including the department they work in, their level of seniority, their business goals, the people they normally work with, their working preferences and so on. Giving these personas names, characters and realistic user scenarios can make them more relatable and applicable to how IT is managed.
These personas can then be used to hone IT set-ups for each group that best meet the needs of the people within them. Each group will therefore have access to a prescribed list of applications, certain security credentials and be provisioned with certain devices. So while applying the same IT provision to everyone is now impractical, and applying different set-ups to every individual is too complex, this persona-based approach delivers a more practical balance that legal IT teams can realistically manage.
The persona-based approach is a win-win situation for employees, employers and legal IT teams alike.
From the perspective of the employees, they get a much-improved experience with IT and equipment that not only suits flexible working in general, but is more attuned to the specific demands of their jobs. Happier workers tend to be more motivated and productive in their jobs, which helps breed a stronger company culture. Furthermore, a company that can provide a high-quality IT experience will be more likely to hold onto existing talented employees, and will find it easier to attract new ones.
Employers can enjoy major cost efficiencies, as by working out which personas need which technologies, they can make sure they only pay for what they need. No longer do licences or equipment have to be purchased for every employee, with the obvious cost inefficiency that entails. The money saved can either be redeployed elsewhere in the business, or focused into persona-specific investments that can improve employee experiences even further.
Finally, legal IT teams can deliver a higher-quality and more focused service without taking on significant additional workloads or complexity. They can also enjoy a better connection with the employees and teams they’re trying to serve, as the personas put IT provisions into more human and less technical language that everyone can understand. This can help employees understand the process behind what the IT department is providing them, and help the IT team understand what employees need and how to make changes as and when required.
Oosha’s Digital Workplace solutions are tailored to the individual needs of your employees. With persona-based groups, we're able to ensure each member of your team gets access to the tools and technology they need, and nothing else. Learn more about our solutions here.