The events of 2020 have significantly changed the behaviours of consumers and law firms. In reality these behaviours have been visibly shifting for many years. The pandemic has simply accelerated behaviours with developments we would expect to happen over a decade, instead taking just weeks. Importantly, this is resulting in a changing mindset amongst law firms who are now demanding better, progressive technology with a clear roadmap for the future.
Firms want to know there is a future with their chosen providers, but that’s not just confined to the functions and features on the roadmap, but wider technological advancements like the move to cloud based applications. As such legal technology providers need to consider the changing behaviours and working with firms, to predict longer term needs.
We now know it is possible to operate a disbursed workforce whilst maintaining productivity thanks to the enforced lockdown. Within the new normal, many staff will want to attend an office but will demand the flexibility to select where they work in order to improve their work/life balance. While firms will need to adapt policy and procedures, legal tech providers need to consider how technology can facilitate this shift in focus.
Ultimately, working patterns will become less routine and not necessarily 9-5, Monday to Friday. Instead people may want to start early or finish late. Firms need to view this as an opportunity, acting to reduce overhead costs such as office space and invest in the technology that supports not only the firms’ requirements, but the requirements of their staff and their client base.
As these changes take hold, firms will need an ability to quickly react and adapt procedures and processes. For example, the firms of the future will need the ability to quickly adapt processes to ensure business can be conducted according to staff and consumer demands.
We predict a dramatic increase in the demand for fully cloud-based solutions as software will need to be accessed outside of the office environment without any loss of performance and security. Not only is it the responsibility of the legal tech provider to devise and offer these solutions, the providers must take responsibility for ensuring that security.
In summary, the technology many firms demand must ensure staff can collaborate effectively, processes can quickly be adapted, the client experience is enhanced, the needs of staff are satisfied and the software is provided within a secure cloud-based environment. This will enable law firms to scale and ultimately take advantage of the wider opportunities that exist. As PracticeEvolve, incorporating SOS and Linetime, we understand these demands which is exactly why we remain committed to supporting the current desktop application in the long term but, in parallel, offering a clear pathway to the cloud.