How Digital Transformation Can Give Legal Firms a Competitive Edge
Here are a few tips to get your organization started on its digital transformation journey.
What's most important to your clients in their selection of legal counsel? Competence; privacy; secrecy; or all of the above?
The provision of legal services is heavily reliant on knowledge and information, and secrecy and privacy have always been essential components of the attorney-client relationship. As a result, the legal profession places a premium on sensitive communications and information security.
The lockdown and remote-work trends of the past two years have seen a significant shift in technology adoption in industries across the globe. According to a PwC report, 80 percent of law firms recognize that having a clear digital strategy is crucial for future success, but only 23% claim that they have one in place.
As clients adopt technology rapidly, they expect their service providers to keep up with the trends that facilitate communication and outcomes, including the legal profession.
But, even if your organization is amongst the 77% hesitant to embrace technology, it's not too late to make the leap.
Intelligent automation transforms how you deliver value to clients and stakeholders
Today's clients are technologically sophisticated, and they expect the same from those who provide the services they procure to derive the best possible value from their investment.
Increasingly, lawyers realize that the paper-based status quo is no longer acceptable and will almost certainly not ensure future sustainability.
Technology has the potential to alter the way lawyers work, how they supply legal services, and improve or expand access to law and justice.
Why go digital?
Today's law firms face many business challenges, including growing competition, client desire for more value, profitability pressure, declining revenue growth, and cybersecurity hazards that can destroy their reputation and that of a client.
For many law firms and in-house counsel, the answer lies in digital technologies, such as Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI), that can help them innovate, better harness new market opportunities, increase company efficiency, and reduce risk.
Cloud computing eliminates the need for user-owned hardware. It replaces it with a subscription-based cloud service that provides greater protection to the organization and its clients and cost savings. Plus, it allows for easy file-sharing and collaboration amongst counsel working on the same project, eliminating the endless reams of paper being passed between offices.
Imagine what improved efficiency by automating repetitive tasks would mean for you. You would gain the ability to have real-time insights into unresolved matters, end-to-end visibility for all team contributors, and the at-your-fingertips knowledge to take decisive actions. Counsel is then in a proactive position to advise clients – and know that there are no surprises around the corner.
For both in-house counsel and law firms, digital transformation is the best method to future-proof your organization and better adapt to customer service disruptions, remote working conditions, issues in our rebounding markets – and better productivity and time management.
And, whether your focus is on attracting new clients or achieving a work-life balance, you've got to admit that having more time on your hands is attractive.
Ready to get started? A few helpful hints to get you on the road to digital success
Every organization that has implemented change knows that the key to success is a well-thought-out plan and employee buy-in to the transition. Implementing a digital transformation strategy can enable companies to take advantage of the considerable commercial and operational advantages and increase employee satisfaction.
Make a cultural shift
Simple digitization – such as the automation of business operations or creating a paperless environment – is just the tip of the iceberg. Complete organizational digitization is extensive and time-consuming, yet it can result in a range of changes, such as data mining for insights to serve customers better, changing employee perspectives and relationships with technology, or modernizing your business models and processes.
Tip 1: Conduct in-house research to understand any barriers to implementation, then work with your executive team to overcome them and encourage employee embracement of the plan.
Invest in technological platforms with a long-term strategy
Modern, fully integrated, and secure platforms are essential for digital transformation to ensure increased productivity, client data security, and a consistent work environment and user experience with this type of platform. Legacy systems, on the other hand, rely on the disconnected experience of patching together multiple software programs across the corporation to create a single business environment.
Tip 2: Take the time to research the digital transformation options available to you; it's easier to get it right the first time – and a lot less expensive than doing it twice.
Pay attention to how the user feels
When in-house users embrace "digital as their default," the opportunity for digital transformation to be successful increases. Modern computer platforms provide an excellent user experience by being simple to use, secure, efficient, and productive. These technologies must duplicate the comfort and convenience of use that people are accustomed to in their personal lives as consumers, such as online shopping.
Tip 3: Select a professional organization with proven experience in digital transformation in your sector – just as you advise your clients on legal
matters, they will know how to tailor your transformation to your organizational needs.
Set aside funds for innovation
Ensure that there are enough reserve resources for innovation (e.g., for technologies such as AI). This planning will allow the business to focus on activities that assist it in achieving a deeper understanding of client needs and highlight new methods to employ technology and organizational skills to meet client demands in the most efficient and timely manner possible.
Tip 4: Plan for the future. No digital transformation is completed in one pass, so ensure that your strategy allows budget for ongoing enhancements to your initial plan.
More than half of Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) claimed that recurrent duties and data management constraints prevented them from adding value, according to a Deloitte poll. Functional silos can be disruptive, and the way workflows are constructed makes it difficult to manage and assess key performance indicators (KPIs). However, digital transformation is critical, and companies that adopted technology during the pandemic outperformed their competitors. Leading firms regard digital transformation and technology as a significant driver of enhanced performance, efficiency, and productivity, according to research, and will continue to use and invest in it.
Look for security features that are already built-in
Because law firms are a valuable target for cybercriminals, taking systematic steps to prevent security risks, breaches, and data theft should be a major focus. It's critical to operationalize security using ideas like need-to-know security and policy-based controls, as well as solid encryption and records management. Additionally, incorporating security by design to generate numerous defenses will make data protection more normal and unobtrusive. Today, AI and analytics provide the best solutions for cost-effectively automating detection to prevent security breaches.
Tip 5: Ensure that your solution provides end-to-end functionality and security so that you don't need to worry about the compatibility of later add-ons
Digital transformation holds great promise for the legal profession, and these five best-practice suggestions will help you lay a solid foundation for your organization's transition and sustained success.
About the author:
Legal Suite is the worldwide leader in digital transformation for lawyers. We have delivered our state-of-the-art software for lawyers, law firms, and in-house general counsel to 65,000 users for over two decades. www.legal-suite.com
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