Embrace Technology – Other firms are
In our last article we introduced the evolution of the cloud and the value it provides. Today law firms that work with corporations are going to be faced with a big decision: continue to shy away from technology that can help the firm be more efficient and communicative, or embrace technology and provide greater client service which in turn could generate more revenue.
Are things really changing?
Almost every day you can read an article or blog authored by a long time legal industry veteran discussing the changing landscape of legal – both from the perspective of the practice and the business of law. Topics range from in-house evolution, the ever increasing number of alternative legal providers, to areas of technology such as AI and mobility. There is a consistent message in all of these articles, and that is remaining competitive will require law firms to look at their practice and business as a whole and come up with strategies for operating more efficiently while continuing to deliver high quality. Years ago corporations began the long process of putting in controls to finally get their arms around what was perceived as out-of-control legal spend. Organizations like CLOC and ACC Legal Ops have grown from this initiative and there are many smart professionals now working side by side with GCs to gain control.
Why can’t firms be efficient using older technology?
Through the years one thing has remained constant, in order to solve a problem with technology, you needed to find a specific tool. This has created a market with tons of separate “point” solutions. Having many different solutions creates serious issues with integration, upkeep and maintenance – creating internal and external challenges. Can firms provide their clients with accurate information if their attorneys have challenges getting that information? Can true collaboration really happen if there are not the tools in place to enable it?
What needs to change?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all accepted radical change with the way we interact with technology many times in our lives. If we didn’t embrace technology, we would all be carrying around music players, rolodexes, cameras, video cameras, notebooks, telephones, etc. Today we don’t have to carry around these devices because of the invention of the iPhone. The iPhone has allowed us to eliminate the need to carry many devices while simplifying everyday tasks. For example, today, we take a picture and can immediately share it through email or text. Compare that to the previous manual process. If you think this in terms of a legal platform, think about the efficiency gains and process improvement from integration of systems. On a legal platform firms can easily share information and documents with clients. Lawyers can have access to.
ALL pertinent matter information and easily merge this information into legal documents. The applications of integrated information and systems is endless. This coupled with the advantages of being in the cloud create a situation that firms need to embrace. Clients are going to demand it! Now… firms just have to move. Think back to your iPhone purchase, at the time, you could never imagine moving from your Blackberry. Now you can’t imagine moving back…this is the vision modern firms must have.