You do not have to look hard to find tales of technology investments that have generated nowhere near their expected level of ROI and business value. First off, metrics for measuring technology ROI, both quantitatively and qualitatively, need to be developed and aligned clearly to the firm’s overall strategy and goals. Only by measuring every step of the way — in terms of what is working and what isn’t, how much time it’s taking, and whether it is boosting revenues and cutting costs — will firms be able to determine whether they made a sound investment.
However, the selection and implementation process are connected to many challenges and firms face a real possibility that their expected results will fail to materialise. So, where is the line between failed implementation, one that causes losses, and a technological investment that generates real business value? There are many reasons why investments in technological solutions sometimes fail to realise their full potential. Here are the four most common challenges and how to face them.
Challenge #1: Letting the pain points drive your investment decision
Generally, firms decide to engage with the tech provider for two reasons: the existing product isn’t meeting the first’s needs in some way (or perceived not to be) and/or poor vendor service.
However, deciding to implement a practice management system, for example, is a 10-year strategic decision for a law firm. So regardless of how pressing your pain points may seem at the time, it is vital that you don’t let them drive your selection timeline and rush through a proper due diligence process.
Challenge #2: Lack of shared understanding and misalignment of expectations internally
Often very few firms spend enough time to truly understand the root cause of the problems they are trying to solve with new technology. There needs to be a shared understanding within the firm before you even begin to look for alternative solutions. By having clarity internally, it makes it much easier to articulate the issues and connect with the right partners who can help you solve these specific problems.
Challenge #3: Failing to properly communicate the new system benefits to employees
It is challenging enough to convince people to do things differently to what they’ve always done, so trying to convince a workforce to leave behind their tried and trusted methods can be a big feat. Firm leaders need to understand the needs across the business and engage people from each area of the firm – a secretary, for instance, has vastly different requirements from a practice management solution that than the finance department. Ultimately, all employees must clearly see and understand the benefits of new technology they’re being told to use before they will adopt it.
Challenge #4: A breakdown in the relationship between the law firm and tech vendor
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most common reasons why investments fail is due to a breakdown in the relationship between the firm and their technology vendor, and nothing to do with the software itself. All too often, vendors assume the functionality of their product is enough and fall short on delivering outstanding service. So, don’t just focus on the software itself, consider the technology provider and what kind of partner they will be in the long-term. Not only should the vendor be able to clearly articulate their strategy for continuing to develop their software, but they must also provide easily accessible services that will ensure your competency in the technology is constantly supported and the value you derive from using it is ongoing. Remember, your technology vendor will be playing an important role in the future of your business.
With the new normal of COVID-19, law firms around the word are faced with the need to connect virtually and continue meeting the needs of their clients. This has forced many to re-evaluate their technology needs and look towards Cloud solutions which would undoubtedly make them better equipped for the current virtual reality. This in effect has highlighted an important ROI metric – will this new technology deliver greater mobility, easier access to information and flexible user experience?
The evolution of cloud solutions has reduced a lot of barriers to adoption, allowing firms to innovate in a way where a lot of the risk and costs is stripped down. Firms can take a low risk, low-cost approach to subscription-based cloud technologies that help them test the waters and make sure that value and ROI will be derived before they commit to the long-term investment.
Talk to one of our team today, if you are looking to get more from your software, and we can arrange a free, no-obligation demo.