The relationship between cloud technology and the Legal sector has been something of a slow burner. Understandably, legal firms have previously been reluctant to adopt cloud technology due to the sensitive data they hold. Through the Cloud, data is able to flow freely to and from recognised enterprise endpoints, but also from mobile devices belonging to employees.
It’s not hard to imagine the security and compliance risks that might accompany such technology, especially considering the increase in flexible working. As it becomes more competitive for law firms to win new business, they need the backend support to prove they’ve got the safe infrastructure to protect their customers. For malicious hackers, legal firms remain a highly lucrative target, as seen earlier this year when over one million credentials from the UK’s top law firms were found up for sale on the dark web.
Now, however, traditional law firms are facing competition not only with each other — arguably, it’s never been more difficult for firms to win new business — but also from legal technology startups and the rise of automation. Already, we’ve seen the disruption of the taxi industry through Uber and office life through Google; in 2019, the next big round of automation will be in the Legal sector, with apps and web-based services competing for a visit to a nearby solicitor’s firm to deal with more straightforward legal issues. As such, the benefits of cloud adoption must be embraced by the Legal sector before it’s too late.
Along with making sure security is robust, ensuring speedy dataflow is crucial for contemporary law firms to stay competitive and efficient. This is because digital transformation brings a new agility through digital workflows, enabling more effective collaboration between formerly siloed departments, along with any other businesses or individuals with which legal organisations may work.
At the same time, no two companies are the same and they shouldn’t be treated as such — which is where the importance of building architecture that meets individual requirements becomes most apparent. From golden circle firms to challengers, if the software is flexible and secure, then it can grow and scale with the legal company in question.
Currently, many legal institutions use cloud-based SaaS applications for non-core business processes, such as HR and financial accounting. However, as application offerings improve and COOs and CIOs get comfortable with the developments, the technology is swiftly becoming adopted for core activity.
Of course, although faced with all the opportunities of digital transformation, legal firms often don’t have sufficient resources to carry out this work effectively. Most of the time, there’s not enough IT support throughout the network. So, the most successful law firms of the future will be those who outsource their digital transformation to trusted suppliers who can provide a team of analysts and continual customer support.
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