Josh Fish of Hubbard One has a good article, Using Strategic Technology to Win and Keep Business, in the November 2003 issue of LawNet’s Peer to Peeer newsletter

In it, he argues that firms should view their technology budget in two bins: operational and strategic. The operational should be viewed with an eye toward cost saving whereas the strategic with an eye to revenue enhancement and profits. Furthermore, the strategic element should be considered from a portfolio perspective, meaning some projects will succeed and others will not; the goal is to earn a postive return on the portfolio.

This articulates very clearly a view I have always held. I hinted at this distinction – though not so eloquently – in my article The Business Case for Delivering Legal Advice Over the Web. I went a bit further in one respect though, which was to argue that firms need to consider the risk and return on technology investment in comparison to other investments they make.

The article, in part, promotes the idea of an online legal service, in particular a HIPAA service provided by ReedSmith (see my blog posting on this service). I am a long-standing advocate of online services (see my articles on and list of online legal services).