6 Technology Trends That Are Changing The Legal Industry
IT is a big part of any industry, and that includes the legal world. Do you understand the effect that technology trends are having on the industry you work in?
Technology has been changing the world for centuries, but in the last few decades, that change has accelerated. The Internet, the cloud, digitization and more have contributed to an all-new understanding of technology trends and how they shape our personal and professional lives.
That’s why you need to make an effort to understand how technology can affect positive change in the work that you do. From customer experience to workflow optimization, technology is playing a big role in the way businesses operate.
6 Legal Industry Technology Trends You Need To Know About
Technology Adoption And Competency
One term for this is “digital transformation”. It is one of the biggest buzz phrases going around the business community right now. In fact, two-thirds of CEOs plan to focus on digital transformation by the end of this year alone. At its simplest, this is the initiative to use technology for better business outcomes. That’s rather general though, isn’t it? To understand it, it may be more effective to look at the way technology is changing the workplace, such as that…
- 80% of the workforce operates at least in part from outside the office.
- A vast majority (up to 80%) of IT budgets are directed towards “business as usual”.
The fact is that, whether you embrace technology or not, the people you interact with (your customers and employees) will expect you to. If you don’t, they’ll work with someone else who does.
Harnessing Legal Software
Most law firms understand that they would benefit by implementing legal firm management software – but are you sure you know which one is right for you?
As you know very well from what you get in your inbox every day, there are a lot of software vendors out there trying to sell you their legal software solutions. Here’s a list of the most popular types of software being used by firms today:
- Productivity apps, such as Microsoft 365
- PDF applications
- Document automation software
- Document management programs
- Time and billing applications
- Case management software
- Data back-up apps
- Project management programs
- Internal instant messaging tools and enterprise social networks
- Collaboration tools
Automating Your Tedious Tasks
Most attorneys would prefer to spend their valuable time on clients and cases, rather than on daily paperwork. And with so many highly flexible, cloud-based firm automation solutions offered today, there’s no reason not to upgrade.
If you’re ready to make the move, there are lots of benefits. Firm management software can offer the automation of daily and sometimes boring tasks like:
- Accounting & billing
- Case and document management tools
- Time tracking features
- Secure chat & email
- Docket control
Harnessing Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is a technology that allows computers to correctly make decisions that would otherwise be left up to users. The two primary popular forms this has taken in the consumer and business worlds to date include:
- Machine-learning, which exponentially improves the frequency with which it makes correct decisions by accumulating data and repeating processes (i.e., it “learns” by rote)
- Speech-based technology that can understand spoken word in multiple languages, allowing it to execute tasks by verbal input (e.g. Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant)
Cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for legal firms today. You aren’t just a target – you’re a primary target. The fact is that legal firms were cybercriminals’ top choice for ransomware targets in the first quarter of 2019.
That’s why it’s important to invest in modern cybersecurity solutions. These advanced types of cybersecurity software (firewalls, antivirus, antimalware) use artificial intelligence to better predict, identify and eliminate harmful malware.
Security based on advanced algorithms that can adapt and learn creates a system that can become familiar with the normal patterns associated with each user and device, detecting anomalies in those patterns quickly.
Essentially, something known as a neural net can be used in cybersecurity efforts. Based on a robust algorithm, the neural net can “learn” to spot patterns of data associated with previously identified and classified spear-phishing emails.
By incorporating this technology into an email client’s spam filter, the filter will be able to spot fraudulent incoming emails and eliminate them before they reach the recipient.
One of the best parts of neural nets is that they continue to learn and improve the more that they are used. With increasingly more data to draw from, this Artificial Intelligence will become more and more accurate in doing its job.
- Using Mobile Devices & The Modern Workplace: Cloud-based workplaces like Microsoft 365 provide all the applications, storage and communication solutions a team needs to get their work done from wherever they have an Internet connection. There are a number of reasons to move your workspace into the virtual space, perhaps the greatest of which is how much easier it makes it to access work data while on the go. Before the cloud, if you wanted to get work done, you had to go to your office and use your desktop computer. This made it impossible to retrieve your digital files if you were stuck at home or traveling. Today, if you need to view a file or work on a project, you simply go online using the device of your choice and work in the cloudUsing a preferred device for professional purposes is also easier than it used to be, thanks to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). BYOD is a company policy that dictates how your employees use their personal devices for work purposes, prioritizing security above most other concerns. There are plenty of reasons to implement BYOD:
- Cost-Effect: Having your staff use their own personal devices for work means that you don’t have to pay for the technology they’d be using otherwise. Depending on the size of your practice, that could mean potential savings of thousands of dollars that would have been necessary to pay for tablets and work phones.
- Convenience & User Experience: Allowing your staff to use their technology also means there’s no pesky learning curve to overcome with new devices. Instead of having to ensure your staff knows how to use the hardware at work, they can simply use the phone, tablet and/or laptop they’re already familiar with.
Network Heroes Will Help You Take Advantage Of These Tech Trends
Now you know about the tech trends you may be missing out on, what’s next? You could try to work automation or mobile devices into your daily work on your own, but it’s not going to be easy.
Talk to our team to get expert assistance in adopting these new technologies and practices:
- Book a free consultation with our team at a time that works for you.
- Tell us what you need from your IT.
- We suggest new technologies and practices to improve your operations.
- Enjoy your modern, productive and convenient IT environment.