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Five Pragmatic Steps For Law Firms In The Digital World

September 30, 2014

The digital world is here. It impacts, positively or negatively, on all businesses. It affects law firms no more and no less than others.

I suggest that now is the time to consider what it means to your firm and what actions are appropriate today.

The “digital world” phrase is used often and has a myriad of different interpretations. Here I reference the four interactive forces – mobile, cloud, data analytics and social – that are commonly considered to characterise the new world.

Despite huge numbers of articles, white papers and briefing notes – the outcome, in terms of where law firms are going, is really not known. However, that is not a reason for delay, the truth is that these forces will change the operation of a law firm and it certainly a good idea to set a target for where you will be in, say, twelve months and to set a plan for achievement of your goals.

Five considerations for moving forward in the digital age:

  1. You need to enable lawyers to work whenever they want and from whichever location in the world they happen to be. What mobile infrastructure do you need to enable this to happen and what management processes and tools need to be in place to support that way of working?

  1. Technology in law firms is more widely deployed and goes deeper into the firm’s operation than ever before. Your IT department is probably struggling just to keep up – establish a modern sourcing strategy to bring niche skills to bear as and when they are needed.
  1. The cloud really does enable fast deployment, cost optimisation and flexibility. Establish your position and map out a plan to realise the benefits.
  1. How is your Marketing team using social media and data analytics? Are you getting the very best from these technologies? If not, why not? I know that it is obvious, but what are you doing? What are you trying to achieve and how well are you performing?
  1. Finally, speed is king. Things have always changed – its just that now they are changing faster. Technology is the change enabler today and you need to have the technologies, the partners and the modern governance to realise the changes at Internet speed. Actively consider how the IT capability in your firm should change to be faster – and it really isn’t about hiring more bodies!

A strategic plan with actions and milestones for each of these streams will establish a path forward in the new digital world.

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