Getting IT together

The mood was somewhat downbeat at last week's gathering of legal IT users at the 'Information systems for lawyers' conference. The concerns were about getting installations to work properly, rather than new and better systems.

Concern about the market was the keynote of two legal IT suppliers, AIM and Ushers, which formally announced the Law Desk Consortium as a way of pooling resources for research. Their coming together, and they may be joined by others, reflects the struggle suppliers face in a fast changing market.

But is there also a need for IT users to join forces? While user groups abound, what about those intending to be users? One conference speaker said the necessary system test beds could cost tens of thousands of pounds, well out of the reach of all but the biggest firms.

There is obviously benefit if testing and research costs can be shared on a group-wide basis.