The pressure on firms continues to increase, applied by clients, other businesses and prospective talent. Revenue growth is dragging while cyber threats are speeding up. Firms can no longer simply rely on cutting administrative costs and making some cyber improvements. Top law firms are turning to digital technologies for radical change.
Legaltech News expertly reports on what digital technologies can do for firms, including achieving faster innovation, greater agility and robust risk mitigation services.
“[L]aw firms need to use digital technologies to transform their operations and business models in ways that allow them to automate and enhance current services, create innovative new services, strengthen the security of sensitive client documents and boost the productivity and job satisfaction of their lawyers.”
The benefits are clear, but the road forward is not so obvious. Legaltech News observed that “forward-thinking firms” and companies from other industries all employ five best practices for success.
Recognize that digital transformation is a process that begins with a change to a firm’s culture. Focus on a modern, strategic platform. Place extreme focus on the user experience. Shift resources from operations to innovation. Create security by design.
Changing a firm’s culture involves not only transforming employees’ mindsets but also processes and business models. It’s a profound, ongoing process that firms should implement as soon as possible. Patience for the results is also necessary. Change takes time, but the reward is great as Apple, Google and others demonstrate.
Compared to a disjointed user experience, risky, time-consuming upgrades and the cost that “stitching together” multiple applications can result in, using a modern platform means greater consistency, functionality and security for a firm.
When seeking to improve user experience, the user must be at the center of the design, with the platform designed around it. “Intuitiveness, ubiquity and fast performance” must be considered too to help drive adoption.
In order to innovate, a firm must apply the necessary resources to better understand client needs and applying the expertise and tools to address them. Per Legaltech News:
“The knowledge of where to apply these technologies and how to apply them are new competencies that law firms need to build. There are no shortcuts.”
Improving firm security begins with getting a lay of the land: knowing the types of documents and where, how they’re stored. The best defense is a “comprehensive, ubiquitous and invisible” one, resulting from multilayers.
The effort to create digital transformation is great, but it’s necessary — “today, not tomorrow” — to a firm’s success and longevity.
In related news, also from Legaltech News, the firm Crowell & Moring announced the launch of a digital transformation practice to serve technology- and innovation-related industries.
“In addition to external technologists and consultants, the new practice will encompass a cross-disciplinary team led by a steering committee of 11 lawyers from Crowell & Moring’s privacy and cybersecurity, regulatory, intellectual property, litigation, and transactional services practices.”
Much of their focus will be on assisting corporate clients quickly launch new innovative products or internal processes — “speed to market.” This entails helping clients see new opportunities as well as challenges.
“Toward this goal, the practice group will strive to increase clients’ awareness of new technologies that can aid their products or operations, and of regulatory trends that may be shaping the technology sector.”
A practice that serves technology- and innovation-related industries is not unique, but what sets Crowell & Moring’s new practice apart is its focus on the full lifecycle of technology innovation.