The key areas and trends for the survey focused on security, mobility, cloud computing, analytics/BI, collaboration and efficiency to name a few. Also, where would a legal IT report be without the mention of AI. A good point made in this summary is that AI is changing, in fact reinventing, almost every job, not replacing. It seems AI is still being pursued mainly by the big end of town, however. Here are the key trends as we see them.
Efficiency comes in many flavours, but there are some good points raised in the report on how law firms are trying to become more efficient or agile. Managing mailbox size is still the leading challenge in the email world with 38% citing it as a concern. Also print management as a solution for simplifying the upkeep of printers is up 17%. Scanning workflow software to automate or facilitate document routing is on the steady climb as is document automation and assembly. Digital signing is also on the rise, but still 62% of firms don’t use a tool as yet, with digital singing being more popular the bigger the firm.
Security management has definitely increased as a priority in firms. The report highlights many areas where firms are doing more now than ever to secure their firm, such as multi-factor authentication, social engineering tests and locking down desktops. Plus, many firms are using external parties more than ever in terms of security audits, testing and training as well as outsourcing technology rather than to continue to develop in house applications. Using encryption technologies is definitely on the rise, with hard drive, email and removeable media encryption being the top three.
I think we can all agree cloud computing adoption across the globe is on the increase and this survey backs this up, however still the biggest barrier continues to be cost, whilst other issues cited are reliability, performance and client restrictions. Cloud DMS is also on the rise as expected, however more in the larger firms currently.
Internal collaboration tools for attorneys is on the rise with tools like Skype, Jabber, Teams, however using these tools to collaborate externally is on the decrease. The use of Extranets is on the rise with in-house developed systems on the decline. And large file transfer and file sharing in general looks on the increase.
One thing is clear and that is using surveys like this allow firms to really analyse where legal technology is going and how they can ride that wave. Change is always going to be an issue, so embrace it and move with the times rather than burying your head in the sand.