Balancing Productivity and Integration
It’s a constant game of cat and mouse, with legislation, and its traditionally slow-paced human consensus processes, trying to keep up with intractable technologies, empowered by a well-funded market place, unreservedly advancing at lightning speed.
The extent of rapidly expanding knowledge within an array of rapidly expanding technologies means that law firms need to establish highly adaptive and flexible new service departments if they are to remain relevant.
Sharing Data Effectively in a Highly Compartmentalised Business…
Law firms generally offer a number of diverse services which are as different as they are complex in the way they manage clients. Conveyancing is about as unlike personal injury as its possible to get, and employment law is just as dissimilar again.
The natural outcome of this diversification is for the established law firm to operate as a number of separate silo organisations – often with little contact or asset sharing between differing departments.
This means well thought out technology adoption and development projects will demand a more in-depth requirements gathering process when compared to organisations with less diverse service portfolios. This is because we have to record the specialist needs of each individual service department alongside developing a clear understanding of how the practice would like to share and use information as a whole.
But it is worth the effort. Because well managed, universally accessible information can be a big benefit when it comes to client retention, repeat business and just generally unifying disparate employees. If undertaken well, technology adoption projects can increase revenue by up to 29%.
Overcoming Territorial Culture & the Fear of Change…
Surviving the digital revolution is likely to be a sticky business. Adopting technology can be unnerving and intimidating. And let’s face it, we’re now living in a world where technology has proliferated to such an extent that human beings no longer have exclusive rights over specific industry knowledge and experience. And technology ubiquitously presents itself as an ‘essential’ rather than a ‘nice to have’ option.
Add to this, the fact that on average, 30% of major digital system integration projects fail, and it’s no wonder most law partners feel overwhelmed – both by the constant threat of project failure and an ever increasing number of technology options.
The issue of course lies in the conflict between the rapid pace of change within the tech industry as a whole and the change resistant nature of human beings – especially those in long-established, conservative industries.
Challenges & Opportunities…
And it would be remiss to discuss technology within the context of the legal profession without mentioning the legislative challenges and opportunities emerging as a result of this digital proliferation.
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