Sitting with the C-Suite: Hal Blackman of IST Management Services

On September 4, I sat down with Hal Blackman, the founder and CEO of IST Management Services, via WebEx.  IST calls itself the “Company with Passion,” and Hal and I covered lessons learned in technology adoption, electronic records retention, and considerations for outsourcing eDiscovery.

Hal has a business background and was hired by Marriott in 1981, where he learned the importance of employee empowerment.  Hal founded IST in 1997, and states that the company is “obsessed in everything we do, from technology and process management, to people programs, and we will stop at nothing to make sure that we exceed the expectations of our clients.”

How to Determine Where to Put Your Business’s Capital Investments

Hal covers the importance of asking questions and listening to client feedback as the key focal points in determining how to prioritize technology investments and add value year-over-year. 

Lessons Learned in the Adoption of New Technology

Hal discusses the eDiscovery industry generally, and specific keys to delivering excellent eDiscovery services, by offering clients the most value at the lowest cost.   

Information Governance (IG): In-House Counsel Should Prepare to Go Electronic

Hal covers the need to move away from paper and to get started on an information governance program.  He concludes: “Doing something is better than doing nothing.” 

Considerations for Outsourcing eDiscovery for Your Legal Department

Hal explains that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to starting down the road of outsourcing, but that the “fastest and most significant ROI” should drive the initial decisions. 

Hal shared that IST Management Services started out as a facilities management (FM) company in 1997.  IST grew over time to a national company, starting with two employees and expanding to the 1,800 employees that it has today.  IST provides services ranging from FM and eDiscovery to forensics collections and court reporting, with a client mix that is equally split between law firms and corporate legal departments.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the team at We would love to hear from you.

LeanDiscovery: Sitting with the C-Suite is a series of interviews designed to provide in-house legal counsel with a birds-eye view of the eDiscovery marketplace, particularly its various technology and service providers. A key component of great eDiscovery management and execution is having a great supply chain. Sitting with the C-Suite is a forum to hear directly from the C-Suite of various eDiscovery providers about the marketplace history, current and future service offerings, and expectations of things to come. This is not an advertisement or endorsement of any of the speakers, or the companies, services and technology that they represent, by either the interviewer or Baker Donelson. The views expressed are those of the speaker. Baker Donelson’s eDiscovery team seeks to provide the best client value throughout the eDiscovery life cycle. If you have any companies or speakers that you would like to see featured, please feel free to reach out to us at