The legal sector is an industry ripe for technological disruption—and so perhaps the perfect place for a visionary CIO such as Slater & Gordon’s Jon Grainger. In advance of the upcoming British Legal Technology Awards, Nexthink caught up with Grainger to hear about how Nexthink Experience (the cloud-native platform for managing Digital Employee Experience) is helping his IT team deliver value and innovation at this “technology-driven” legal firm.
“I’ve long suspected that the ITIL model is bankrupt,” he told us, without wasting a second. “From what I’ve seen, its model is still based on the response coming back from the users. You don’t do anything—you wait. Nexthink allows us to be much more proactive.”
Grainger insists today’s fluctuating digital environments demand this proactive approach—something Nexthink Experience is uniquely able to provide. “The pace of change we’ve got now is sort of instantaneous. If your support system can’t scale, you’re going to have trouble keeping up.”
Nexthink: You’ve been one of the first users of Nexthink Experience. How has this made a difference in your ability to deliver business value?
Jon Grainger: I think if you did a straw poll of CIOs today, you’d find they have less problem managers than they’d like. The magic with Nexthink Experience is that it doesn’t just give us insights, but recommendations and actual engineering suggestions.
This means that, if I’m on the service desk, not only am I getting a specific fix suggested to me, and the chance to standardize and fix the problem out of the system, but it’s actually conveying engineering knowledge to the service desk, too.
This is an incredible advance. Going forward, Nexthink Experience could disrupt the way support is delivered. For my team, it allows us to free up more time and resources to help the business innovate.
How does Nexthink fit with the “technology driven” culture at Slater & Gordon?
When we look at a problem today, we talk about putting forward a hypothesis. This approach creates an engineering culture where everyone’s mind is open to the different possible solutions. Nexthink gives us the data to support this approach.
Also, the user voice is something that’s previously been missing in IT. Nexthink is critical in ensuring that user feedback is a big part of our processes at Slater & Gordon.
How is Nexthink helping you communicate IT’s strategic value to the wider business?
I’ve been in lots of situations where you try to present to the business: things like the average response times for the service desk, or how much the backlog is growing. But these tend to be the metrics technology teams need to be invested in internally. They rarely actually mean anything to a business user.
Business users want to know: is our staff happy? Are our tools enabling them to be useful?
Our Nexthink DEX Scores—which we work hard to ensure are consistently high—allow us to submit an almost itemized experience bill for how the business is consuming IT, aligned with user feedback. What we’re aiming for at S&G is to create parity between our employees and our consumers. Nexthink Experience is a vital part of that evolution.
Tell us about Slater and Gordon’s “Work Anywhere” ethos and how this was successfully implemented over the lockdown?
“Work Anywhere” means delivering a digital equivalence to being in the office. It makes technology go into the fabric of what we do. We don’t notice it. It’s there and it’s helping us. Getting this successfully implemented involved a lot of steps.
We were doing testing for Teams, putting together the basic Teams template, working with HR in terms of adoption, working with accommodation in terms of kits, and working with all the practice areas in terms of getting the feedback for what they wanted. We were also explaining to folks how to use Teams, how to get through Zoom fatigue, and we even rolled out a different way of accessing technical support called the Tech Bar. And of course, we put in a whole raft of measures through Nexthink—which is how we’re able to see when our users have got a problem before they even know they’ve got a problem.
To learn more about the ways you can manage the trials and tribulations that come with a dispersed workforce, watch a recording of a joint webinar hosted by CMSwire, Slater & Gordon, Nexthink, and IDC.