World Changers – Interview with Barry Keno, President of Keno Kozie Associates

Barry (http://www.kenokozie.com/) wrote “Embracing Consumer Technology in the Law Firm Enterprise” for the most recent Peer to Peer (ILTA) magazine. He is also giving a webinar on the same topic (http://preview.tinyurl.com/6hdz48x). I was so impressed with his thoughts that I wanted to interview him. I believe he is spot on as to how Law Firms should approach “consumer technologies”. I wanted to know his thoughts about technology, training, and other subjects. His responses to my questions follow (you don’t want to miss the last question):

Tell us about what you do. As president of Keno Kozie Associates, I spend a lot of time working with our law firm clients to help them find creative and effective solutions for using technology in the support of their professionals and support staff. When I’m not meeting with clients, I’m working with the management and technical staff within Keno Kozie to enhance our services, expand our skills and generally continue to move the company forward.

What are you working on now? The nature of technology in the law firm environment is changing. Things are moving to hosted/cloud systems, everything’s being virtualized and law firms are more interested in focusing on the provision of legal services and less interested in maintaining a large, complex IT infrastructure. Keno Kozie is evolving to ensure that our services are consistent with this development. We want to provide the most comprehensive design and support services possible in the most cost-effective manner. From Help Desk outsourcing to Managed Services and Data Center design, Keno Kozie is helping our clients keep pace in a rapidly-changing world.

What are you passionate about? I really like the way we’ve focused our business on our relationships with our clients and our understanding of law firm culture, rather than any specific technology. My passion is in working with the people within the client firms and within Keno Kozie to help achieve a goal – using and supporting technology of course, but with the focus on the relationship and the firm’s primary function – practicing law.

How do you keep up with technology? I read a lot of industry periodicals – these give me a glimpse into the technologies that are being sold and used through the legal industry and across other verticals. Anything that appears to have a valid application within our world will be investigated and possibly implemented within Keno Kozie to determine how well it works and whether it has a role for our clients.

How can trainers who primarily work with staff, work more with attorneys? Getting attorneys to sit through a traditional class has always been difficult – they need to have an efficient and flexible training format to hold their interest and fit into their busy schedules. One-on-one training, webinars and other non-traditional training formats will be much more effective with attorneys and will provide opportunities for trainers to work more closely with the attorneys.

What do you think are the top “consumer technologies” that we should support in law firms? Things are changing all the time. I think IT departments must adopt a general philosophy of acceptance of consumer technologies as long as firm security is protected. For too many years, IT management has dictated which technologies could be used – attorneys are becoming less willing to accept these limitations. I’m seeing a significant increase in Apple technologies – iPhones, iPads and Mac workstations connecting to and working with the firms’ infrastructures through VPN, Citrix and other channels.

What question or questions would you like to answer that I didn’t ask? What am I doing this summer? I’m climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with my daughter. She’s working in Tanzania, helping children who have been orphaned through HIV/AIDS and I’m going to fly over to visit her and climb the mountain. It started as a celebration of her 21st and my 50th birthdays, but evolved into a charity climb to raise money for breast cancer research. I’m very proud of her and looking forward to the personal challenge.

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