This week from a GRC perspective was always going to be about announcements from the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) conference in Las Vegas that runs until tomorrow. Nearly everyone is there including Autonomy, Open Text, IBM and Recommind. But there are others too and we’ll catch up with them next week.

Show Us the Money!

All PR hooey aside, conferences are about buying and selling, about who’s buying what and who’s selling it. And behind all that is how much money companies have to spend. The ongoing ILTA’s current Las Vegas conference is no different.

So before looking at some of the announcements, let’s look briefly at a survey carried out over the course of the conference across ITLA legal firm members with 50 or more attorneys about IT spending in legal firms (of which 84% come from the US).

Unsurprisingly, the overall finding -- and one which corresponds with other verticals -- is that technology spending as a percentage of firm revenue is still down, but slowly beginning to pick up with a third of companies citing an increase in IT budgets of 11% over 2009 budgets.

Additionally, 45% reported their firms are already back to normal financially, while only 6% indicated it will take another 12+ months compared to 45% in 2009.

There is a lot of optimism here and some other noteworthy figures including the fact that 17% of firms now have a cloud strategy.

There is also good news for Microsoft (news, site) that might offset the slow uptake on Office 2010 with news that 43% of all respondents are planning Microsoft Office upgrades in 2010 or 2011. SharePoint is also proving popular with 49% using SharePoint internally and 24% using it as a collaboration tool.

There’s a lot more in this report. Complimentary copies are available to download, but it’s not clear for how long.

Autonomy Extends IDOL to Risk Management

Autonomy (news, site) was at ITLA and unveiled its new end-to-end, meaning-based Risk Management platform for law firms using IDOL to deliver multiple risk management modules from a single intelligent platform.

It combines Autonomy Client Intake, Conflicts Manager, Legal Hold, Records Manager and Supervisor with IDOL and as a result automatically understands the inter-relationships within data, and monitors and apply policies against all communications channels.

As a result, law firms can transform legacy and manual risk management processes and reduce the cost of owning and maintaining multiple point solutions.

Combined, the modules manage compliance with regulations and ethical rules as well as meeting client requirements for data security, and responding to requests from regulators and courts.

Autonomy says this is the first platform that automates the time-consuming risk management process. If you want more details go to the Autonomy website.

Open Text Legals Get Social Media

Open Text (news, site) was also busy at ILTA with the announcement that it has expanded its legal software by introducing key integrations between Open Text Document Management, eDOCS Edition (eDOCS DM) and Open Text Social Workplace.

First released in the summer of 2009, Open Text Social Workplace offers employees a way to network and interact with each other. Built to be flexibly deployed either standalone or as part of another solution, Open Text Social Workplace will integrate with Open Text eDOCS allowing users from within law firms to collaborate on documents and matters stored and governed within eDOCS.

This includes new microblogging and instant messaging features and respects current permissions and governance rules.

For its part, eDOCS Edition 5.3 controls document-based knowledge assets by enabling users to capture, organize, locate and share business content in a secure, integrated and intuitive environment.

Learning Opportunities

Users can also use Open Text’s records management as a result of native integration, search and access from within the native eDOCS user interface. eDocs also comes with support for iPad.

IBM and IGC Integrate for e-Discovery

Also from ILTA this week was the release of IGC’s (news, site) Redact-It for IBM e-Discovery Manager.

IBM's (news, site) e-Discovery software complements core information management capabilities and provides an on-premise solution to deal with e-Discovery, privacy and retention requirements more efficiently.

Tightly integrated with IBM e-Discovery Manager, Redact-It performs automated redaction on documents during the export phase, allowing organizations to process large volumes of documents in-house.

Itautomatically applies ”Privilege” or “Privacy” scripts and creates a new PDF or TIFF rendition of the redacted file leaving the source file untouched.

The edited edition contains no hidden text or metadata; the content is completely removed, so there is no risk of inadvertent disclosure through improper redaction.

Redact-It also offers the ability to export source files to PDF or TIFF from e-Discovery Manager in addition to IBM’s traditional EDRM-XML and Native format options. If you want to find out more on this visit IGC’s e-Discovery site.

Recommind and Exterro Extend Legal Processes

Recommind (news, site) is also at ILTA and has announced the integration of its Axcelerate ECA & Collection with Exterro Fusion e-Discovery and legal hold workflow management solution suite.

Exterro Fusion simplifies the process of creating a legal hold, identifying custodians and data, and issuing notifications. Axcelerate ECA & Collection allows enterprises to identify, preserve, collect, analyze, cull and filter electronically stored information as part of e-Discovery, internal investigation or regulatory inquiry.

By integrating the two, users will be offered software that covers entire legal processes including preservation, collection, early case assessment, processing, review and production needed to manage the legal hold process and control costs from end to end.

The result, Recommind says, is a solution that proactively manages legal holds with a cost-effective and defensible e-Discovery response.