A new name in the market – Konetica – this week announced it had launched a managed IT services offering for the legal sector. The company say they are “offering a bespoke service which is tuned to the demands of individual law firms, Konetica offers an end to end service including 24 hour specialist IT desk support, infrastructure, software and technology updates that not only keep firms up and running but also pave the way for improved client service through IT innovation.”

Founded by Malcolm Simms (the head of IT at Eversheds – he's currently still there on a part-time basis and leaves in December) and Richard Leonard (also ex-Eversheds) Konetica was created on the principle that “the partnership dynamic places unique demands on a firm’s IT department which only experts in the field can understand and service. As such, Konetica has developed a high-touch managed service which works either as a standalone service or in tandem with an IT department, leaving IT directors and CIOs free to focus on developing a strategy to drive the firm forward.”

Malcolm Simms, director, Konetica, comments “Whether it’s being able to email a client at two in the morning as final negotiations on an M&A go through or gather the information together for a particularly tricky litigation case, IT plays a critical part in the success of a law firm delivering its promise of a client centric service. We’re focused on providing a premium managed service which enables fee earners to simply get on with their job and IT directors the freedom to bring their true expertise to the fore.”

Konetica commissioned research, conducted by Professor Joe Peppard from Cranfield School of Management, that reveals that CIOs of law firms are often too busy ‘keeping the lights on' to focus on strategy, innovation and business improvement in order to drive their firms forward in the use of IT. Professor Peppard, who holds the Chair in Information Systems, commented: “In many ways, the legal sector trails behind other industries in its adoption of outsourced IT services. In fact, many CIOs have been left frustrated as they have been forced to focus on IT operations rather than applying their knowledge and expertise to help push their firms forward to improve both firm performance and ultimately the service they provide to clients in what is an information and knowledge intensive industry.”

Konetica say they will provide the expertise and agility that law firms require with the ability to broker the best deals with vendors and therefore offer the best value service. Konetica director, Richards Leonard adds “Considering that IT outsourcing has been in existence for over 20 years and has a current growth rate of seven percent, it’s somewhat surprising that the legal sector has not embraced the concept before now. Our aim is to bring the inherent cost and knowledge benefits of managed services whilst ensuring the service is specifically tailored to the legal sector.”

Simms and Leonard told the Orange Rag they recognised the need for this type of service while they were working with Eversheds on the firm's recent outsourcing deal, which eventually went to Computacenter. They both also believe the current state of the economy is helping firms focus on their core businesses and looking to find ways to operate more efficiently and economically – and that even IT directors are actively examining alternative IT business models, rather than being stuck in the old 'turkeys don't vote for Christmas' mindset.

Konetica say they currently have two deals on the table, including one with a law firm that is at an “advanced stage”.

Konetica will be hosting a series of breakfast briefings across the country over the coming months – starting in Birminghan in November – for managing partners, finance directors and IT directors to discuss how to shape their IT for the future. For more information on Konetica and to book a place at a breakfast briefing, visit www.konetica.com

• Confusion corner: Although Prof Peppard talks about 'keeping the lights on' – Konetica has no connection with Peter Owen (by coincidence Simms' predecessor as head of IT at Eversheds) nor Owen's Lights-On Consulting business. Sorry Pete, you should have trademarked that phrase.