Two technology topics with torque – programming and multiplicity of packages

Met. Corp. Counsel, June 2010 at 9, has two quotes that twisted my mind from an interview of the CEO of Datacert. Bear in mind that the speaker leads a company that has just announced a “platform” with patented software that integrates and makes easier development of software. “One of the main requirements that the corporate legal department[s] and law firms gave us is that they did not want to hire armies of C++, Java, or Web application programmers to make changes to the software.” I am flummoxed because not one in a thousand law departments even consider having programmers write software (See my post of June 3, 2009: bespoke, customized software written for legal departments with 12 references.).

Some may happen at the interface of accounts payable and a matter management system but the quote seems to exaggerate significantly for legal departments.

Now the other quote with a sharp turn. “[W]e know legal departments that use over a hundred systems just to support their department.” I wish that James Tallman had named one of those departments with more than 100 pieces of software and explained how they count the packages.

Perhaps the situation is a bit like law firms. It may not matter how many packages are in use if only one or two lawyers use them. For example, specialized software for Edgar filings has no drain on the other lawyers. I doubt that the vast majority of law departments have more than a dozen packages in use – aside from the usual suite of word processing, spreadsheet, and PowerPoint applications.

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