Richard Hodkinson has been CTO for fast growing law firm DWF LLP for three years and overseen major transformation and incorporated an enterprise social model to the company.

When did you start your current role?

Have you completed an MBA?

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:

  1. Peer Group
  2. Analyst
  3. Vendors
  4. Consultant
  5. In-house

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
18 months in gestation has been an initiative called New Business Intake – NBI. New Business Intake, NBI, is a far reaching project being driven by Central Services and represents the first large transformational project undertaken since the introduction of the practice management system. As a result of the successful growth achieved by the business, we have inherited a plethora of business inception processes that are both inconsistent and occasionally contradictory. As a consequence, working practices employed by our fee earners and therefore the client experience varies from location to location and from team to team. The primary rationale is to; improve the data quality being captures at the start of the client or matter on-boarding, improve the risk management of new engagements, improve and inform the life time client experience through integration with billing engines and CRM solutions.

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
NBI's primary objective is to improve and enhance the on-boarding experience for clients as well as the processes by which we undertake client inception. Benefits are threefold:
• The client journey and their initial exposure to the firm is of a high quality, their experience is underpinned by online innovation, it is robust, comprehensive and meets all regulatory needs.
• The firm will realise better data quality, which sounds a little ethereal, but improved data quality informs so many other processes within the business it is essential we get this right. From conflict and credit checking to an understanding of a client’s areas of interest which, in turn, will allow us to drive greater cross selling. Having correct and consistent data will let us manage client relationships as the client demands, billing arrangements for example or the delivery of their MI.
• As the scale and geography of the business increases, getting basic processes such as clients and matter set up is a business imperative and, with regulators and clients becoming more exacting, it is not something we can ignore. It is estimated that more than 90,000 files are opened in a year consuming around 24 FTE and there are more than 170 processes for conflict and file opening around the new DWF.

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
Hosted HD VC services with Logicallis. Print fleet managed service with Canon UK, Mobile fleet replacement with O2 Telefonica

Name your strategic technology suppliers?
Canon, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, O2 Telephonica, HP Autonomy, Microsoft

What is the IT budget?

IT operational spend compared to the revenue or company turnover as a percentage?

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
Differentiate the firm from other top 20 law firms through technology

Transformation achievements

Would you describe the CIO role as a transformation leader in your organisation?
Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
1. Turn ove double - 4 mergers, 1 acqusition and 2 lateral hires in 14 months
2. Replace a print fleet and move to on demand print
3. Published 100+ client  extranets and scored above law firm peers in this years Legal Client satisfaction survey
4. Open a showcase office in the centre of London - technology and service are to be guiding principals
5. Move all the software development to cloud Micorsoft Azure - first to market

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
Work in Progress write-offs c£40m pa which needs  a radical approach to behaviours and supporting business systems in the widest sense. Allied to that is a review end to end of the billing processes to improve the cash position of the business and the facilities it requries to operate. I lead the team at the high end business analysis (the size of the prize and the options for resolution) and the execution team who bring to life the target future state.

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
Capitalise on existing investments. the technology is there, there are about people and process. Some paperless/scanning kit will become

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?

How is the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and social networking impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation at present?
1000 smart phone and tablets in circulation. good adoption but low promotion so far of applications specific to DWF's core operation. this is set to accelerate in 2014 with a number of 'value' applciations being pushed to devices.

Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives, place the right controls around employee choice and engage with the organisation on this issue?
Shadow IT planning is avoiding the desire of the partners to do their own thing because IT service is exemplarary. BYOD policy in place for 18 months and works.

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
Outside the legal sector - financial services and retail, particulalry those with a high end service brand or online presence

The CIO role in the business

Who do they report to?

Does the CIO have a seat on the board?

How often do you meet with the CEO?

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team?(What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
Yes - Portfolio managers for each business unit.

How many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?

What is the primary technology platform?
Thomson 3e PMS