Switch on to the IT revolution

Ravinder Singh Chahal is a freelance journalist.

As we approach the end of the century, the industrial age is fast being replaced by an age dominated by information technology. More firms are becoming IT-literate through the use of online services, World Wide Web sites, networked systems and even video-conferencing; small wonder then, that it is easy to become lost in a hi-tech maze, where even those who seek to help seem to be talking gibberish.

Enter Robson Taylor Consulting with a video aimed squarely at those firms which do not want to let the technology bandwagon pass them by, but are not entirely certain how to scramble abroad. The Information Technology Challenge takes the form of a management seminar interspersed with comments from leading figures at Shoosmiths & Harrison, Tyndallwoods, Murray Beith Murray and LawNet, who illustrate the practical benefits of IT with specific regard to legal practices. There are also interviews with representatives from Levy Gee, which offers the chartered accountants' point of view.

Shoosmiths & Harrison has doubled its turnover to £25m within the space of five years. Tyndallwoods is using technology to expand upon its existing services by offering low-cost, plain-language wills which are available within one hour, in direct response to client demands. LawNet provides a support network for 75 law practices with more than 5,000 partners and staff who are linked through a computer network and has been attracting additional work through its worldwide Web site. These firms all cite the use of technology as a major factor in their individual success stories.

The video also stresses that technology should not be employed for its own sake but as part of an overall business plan and with a view to increasing efficiency and improving profits.

This is again something that most managing partners can understand and the underlying message of the video is that they should be involved in their firm's IT strategy, and that the commitment to IT should come from the head of a partnership.

It is the first of a Best Practice Series which will cover all the major management issues such as marketing and new service development.

The video lasts 80 minutes and costs £199 plus VAT and can be ordered on 01225 428114.