2023 looks to be a challenging year for many of us. Although we are through the worst of the pandemic, we are now suffering the aftereffects and I’m sure many of us will already be experiencing the stark reality of increasing fuel, energy and shopping bills. The increasing costs and challenging environment is also being felt by businesses. Against this backdrop, it’s clear businesses are going to have to work smarter. To do so, we are going to have to consider how technology can help us but also attract and retain talent.

We conducted market research in 2022 and the general challenges law firms face in 2023 remain consistent. Firms want and need better technology to manage processes and integrates with the software they use, while there is an ongoing focus on retaining talent. However, to succeed, legal technology providers must help by investing in what clients need.

We are committed to investing in three categories: Competency, Cloud and Connectivity – all designed to ensure that both firms’ and individuals’ needs are met.

It is imperative for firms to ensure they have a satisfied team of users who are fully competent in the software they are using, in order to maximise their returns on investment (ROI). It’s one of the many reasons PracticeEvolve have introduced EvolveLearning (alongside EvolveCommunity). Designed to offer users a platform to interact and learn at a pace to suit their needs, EvolveLearning will improve user competence and, in turn, allow law firms the accessibility to receive the most from their chosen product.

Equally, as firms look to reduce the costs and the risks associated with infrastructure, we see more of an onus on Cloud solutions. Fully native Cloud solutions, for example, eliminate the need for maintenance of physical servers, and allow users to operate on any device with a browser. PracticeEvolve are currently trialling their new software, our next generation native Cloud beta solution, in Australia.

Finally, the software needs to be connected to other applications to ensure operations are far easier for the user and the firm. This is why we are constantly evolving through better integrations with software, including InfoTrack and DocuSign, and automating many processes for ease of use. Similarly, we understand the need to provide access for a workforce who are demanding the flexibility to work at home, at the office or while on the move.

Ultimately, to retain talent in the long term, firms must not only invest in great software, but the additional service and support their firm needs in order to succeed as well. Our recent Legal Industry Report shows that over 77% of firms believe the digital literacy of their workforce needs to improve, while up to 74% of firms surveyed admitted to using less than half of their software’s full capabilities and functions. With this in mind, it is clear that to ultimately improve efficiency, staff retention, and overall competency, firms and vendors alike must concentrate on user experience as well as the software. We call it – software with a service.