ILTA’s blockbuster technology survey for 2023 reveals all on collaboration tool adoption & governance, and plenty on gen AI

This article was edited on 1 October after ILTA notified us that their image depicting whether firms are, or are not, using generative AI was incorrect. That image has now been changed.

The International Legal Technology Association’s wide-ranging annual technology survey is out today (29 September), charting, among many other things, the growth in adoption of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, and giving an insight into firms’ early experiences and attitudes when it comes to generative AI.  

Microsoft Teams is now used in conference rooms by 38% of firms, with Zoom dropping to 33% (it was 37% last year.)  



 Asked which video conferencing software law firms use on desktop, laptop, or phones, Zoom still leads with 82% of the market, down by 3% on two years ago. Teams is not far behind on 78%, but up from 69% in 2021. Cisco Webex has dropped to 21% from 30% in 2021.


When it comes to unified communications technology, it is Teams leading the way, up to 45% from 36% in 2021. Zoom is also up from 8% to 29% in that period. Cisco, the next contender, is down from 29% in 2021 to 24% this year.



It is interesting to note how the adoption of Teams is also increasing. This year 67% have deployed online meetings, up from 57% two years ago. Chat and collaboration has been deployed by 62% of respondents, which has been steadily growing in the past couple of years, up from 58% last year, and 53% the year before. 




 Governance of Teams is largely by limitation on who can create Teams (50%). Although the number of firms now applying retention policies has shot up in the past two years from 3% in 2021 to 35% this year. Firms are also increasingly applying restrictions on the ability to add guests on a per-team-basis.  


The survey also notably charts the growth of Microsoft 365 within the sector. Seventy four percent say they use MS365 and within 12 months the statistics in the survey suggest that it will rise to 88%.  



TJ Johnson, former VP for events and conferences at ILTA, who is now a legal sector strategist at Qualitest, observes: “Windows 11 is the primary workstation operating system for 13% of firms this year. By next year that will likely be the predominant O/S for workstations.” 


There is so much to pick out from this survey but one of the more interesting findings when it comes to hardware is – albeit a bit predictably – the growth in the use of laptops among both lawyers and professional staff at law firms (see diagrams below.) Commenting on the findings, Johnson says: “We are at the point that 2/3 of law firms are providing at least 90% of their lawyers with laptops, and nearly half of firms are providing 90% of their professional staff with laptops.” 








Perhaps this is the section that people will be the most interested in this year, and ILTA spends a significant amount of time considering developments in and around generative AI.  

While ILTA’s report initially showed a surprising 85% of firms saying they are “using” gen AI tools such as Harvey, and we questioned to what extent that can be true, the image had been inverted and in fact 85% of firms say they are NOT using gen AI tools such as Harvey.




Harvey – in use at firms including Allen & Overy and Macfarlanes – is again singled out in terms of asking what the level of firms’ interest is in it, and the results accord with what we’re hearing anecdotally, which is that the waiting list is long.  



Elsewhere, the expected use cases for gen AI are varied but led by creating initial drafts of documents, assisting in writing presentations, and brainstorming ideas. Search does not appear to feature in the list of options. 



There are many interesting stats that you can pull out of the report, which is over 300 pages long. However, at a time that many firms tell us that they are still nervous about moving their financial system to the cloud, it is interesting to note that 74% of respondents said that their replacement time and billing system will be in the cloud.  

There are many more important mainstream areas that the survey gives insights into, including the latest trends in document and practice management, cloud migration, and cybersecurity.  

ILTA’s survey costs $500 or $800 for non-members and you can access it using this link: