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Apps to unlock the new office normal

Optimize workflows, delivery and security with emerging software

For many firms, adopting new legal technologies is perplexing due to the challenges of legacy processes and systems, competing priorities and restricted budgets.

Additionally, many stakeholders may be required to approve each business case. So, how can IT leaders navigate the maze of emerging tech to ensure they choose the right solutions for a robust, integrated tech stack that will enable faster delivery with minimal risks and at a reduced cost? And, how do they engage with the key business stakeholders to ensure buy-in for the investment?

In this article, we reveal 3 tech trends from our ‘The Future of Legal Tech’ survey conducted in June 2020 and solutions that help IT leaders to overcome these challenges.

Trend 1 – Invest in the right tech to reduce costs and risks

According to our legal survey, the top 3 challenges highlighted for IT were integration (52%), lack of technical resources (43%) and investment at 24% respectively. Over half of the respondents (52%) said that people issues were a barrier to digital change whereas 43% stated it was a lack of time and finances. The survey also revealed that the main factors that lead to deterrence of investing in new tools and technologies amongst the firm are limited budgets or limited education and awareness in understanding the benefits of new technologies.

Like other departments, IT leaders are under pressure not only to reduce costs but also deliver tech solutions that improve practice efficiency and internal and external communication while reducing risks. So, how do they tackle these challenges while being overstretched?

Trend 2 – Delivering solutions faster

Almost two thirds (67%) of the respondents stated that limited budgets followed by lack of resources (48%) were the top reasons that hinder investments in technology. While IT leaders are often pushed to launch new services and solutions faster to remain competitive, over half (52%) said that limited resources (people) and finances (43%) were barriers to achieving these goals of digital change.

Trend 3 – Empowering lawyers with tech to enable virtual working

Over three-quarters of respondents said that the most important communication solutions were PDF/Office documents (77%) followed by website (72%), web portal software (66%) and Mobile Apps (59%). However, as consuming digital content on mobile is accelerating, only 35% said their firm provides everyone with a work mobile phone and 51% stated that they provide cell/mobile phones only for managers and partners or above. Furthermore, 6% of respondents said they don’t provide this to any of the staff.

With the new normal, where lawyers will be working less from the office and more virtually/from home, it will become essential to equip them with robust mobile/cell phone communication solutions.

2020 tech predictions: Why will mobile apps lead the future?

With a plethora of technologies available on the market today, how do legal firms navigate in the maze and choose the right tools that not only serve them today but also provide scalability, easy integration and flexible, future proof solution?

There is one trend that has not shown any signs of slowing down. According to Statista, in 2017, there were 178 billion app downloads. That number is projected to grow to 205 billion this year, and 258 billion in 2022 – a 45% increase over five years. Big players like Amazon Honeycode and Microsoft Power Apps have realized the lucrative potential and created their own low code/no code mobile app platforms recently. But technology alone will not support businesses in their goal. Choosing a solution provider that understands your industry, has a portfolio of firms with active use cases is the key to success in this area.

The low code/no code app platforms provide flexible technology that allows B2B organizations, including law firms, to create easy-to-access, whether practice or client-driven. With templated, fast-to-market solutions, legal firms of any size can create high-value mobile and web apps that boost internal communication and practice efficiency while reducing the costs.

The flexible technology enables matter experts and practice areas to carry the bulk of the content update burden if required. By empowering firm departments to manage the upkeep of app content, it leaves IT to manage the security and integrations, whilst the app provider takes care of the operating system maintenance and upgrades for you.

What does the future hold for you?

So, what happens to the legal firms that don’t adopt technologies that enable them to reduce cost, risks and security while accelerating time to market?

In the increasingly competitive and fast-paced market that shows no signs of slowing down, leaders in IT will carry on adopting technology that saves them money, embrace internal communication and provide solutions for service and product enhancements/launches. They are synched with the key stakeholders enabling them to invest when required and integrate fast to ensure competitiveness in the challenging market. Managing risk, as well as effectiveness, is driving their IT strategy.

And what happens to those who ignore these tech initiatives? Will they disappear or downsize and then eventually disappear?

Want to learn more? Read our blog to understand the 3 trends to reducing costs and risks.