If your department creates specialized software, two reasons to relinquish it – cost and continuous improvementIf your department creates specialized software, two reasons to relinquish it – cost and continuous improvement

Every now and then law departments request software written especially for their own purposes. Usually they are very large departments and they conclude that there is no suitable package available for license. Custom software that holds promise as precisely targeted to solve a need may be the perfect solution, or it may belong better elsewhere.

For example Cisco developed the platform that it decided eventually to spin out to LegalOnRamp. According to an interview of Cisco’s Steve Harmon, Senior Director of Legal Services, on July 25, 2011 by LegalOnRamp, Cisco did so in part for economics. “Over time, … we could license the technology from LegalOnRamp … more cheaply than I could continue to pay my own staff to maintain and develop that platform.”

As a second reason, one applicable to every law department that creates bespoke software, “every dollar that I spend on maintaining existing applications is a dollar that I’m not free to spend on other innovation.” Look in the market for vendors spurred to innovate and use your own dollars for different purposes.

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