The legal industry is now focusing more on changes in Information Technology. IT changes, or not keeping up with IT changes, can create risks for their clients and their practice. Case Management Software, document management, email encryption, time tracking, billing contacts, case calendars and more have created an even greater reliance on IT infrastructure security, performance, and reliability.
Document collaboration, video conferencing and mobile devices are making IT security surface as a critical business problem. However, with all of these demands on IT, fewer than 60% of legal firms have a “formal” IT budget and 25% of legal firms still have no IT security policies.
Technology Trends in the Legal Industry
Posted on the Lexus/Nexus Business of Law Blog, the Top Technology Trends in the Legal Industry are described. Based on our knowledge of providing IT infrastructure, hosting, management and support services to our legal clients, here are some of those trends which we feel have come to fruition and will continue to mature.
- With the focus on data/information security on the rise and driving needed attention on law firm environments, we expect more firms outsourcing in 2017.. They’re asking themselves, “Why should I host and manage all of these applications and data when I can get an expert to do it and satisfy my clients need for an ultra-secure legal data environment?” In 2017, more will move to an outsourced model.
- An acceleration of legal departments getting comfortable with alternative models by “unbundling”, re-aggregating previously unbundled tasks and using managed service providers to get work done.
- An acceleration of small to medium law firms “outsourcing” their core operating platforms to the cloud to begin to level the playing field with larger law firms allowing more work to seamlessly flow to smaller law firms.
- 2017 will see attorneys and law firms continue to adopt and utilize web-based software and services at an ever-increasing rate. While the legal industry has historically been slow to adopt new technology, firms that conduct the cost-benefit analysis of these services conclude that it’s almost a “no brainer
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Starts Spreading to Laptops and Tablets, especially in smaller firms and will continue to grow.
- Firms will spend most of their extra money on Document Management Software rather than Practice Management Software.
- A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70% of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters.
- The firms that have focused on improved business processes and supported them with smart technology will have many more opportunities in 2017 than the firms that are simply trying to make the standard technology tools work well together. It’s another case of the haves and have-nots.