TECHNOLOGY FOCUS
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
the law firmor creates the mobile equivalent of the
practice and case management software (PCMS).
Social media is fast becoming the next
battleground for customer acquisition. Public
forums such as Facebook are now becoming the
locations to seek recommendations, opinions and
feedback from peers. The growth of social media
has had a direct impact on how consumers
research their purchases: rather than looking on
the firm’s website, users now turn to social media
sites to gain insight from other consumers.
Big data
The concept of managing big data may seem
challenging to some legal firms but, put simply,
the evaluation of unstructured data can help
firms scrutinise the practice as a business.
Performance analysis, right down to the fee-
earning individual or matter type, can provide the
firmwith a wealth of tactical and strategic
knowledge that will help drive the business
forward. In addition, by combining website data
and customer relationship management (CRM)
systems, firms can begin to see client buying and
research habits – much in the same way that
retailers track consumer behaviour.
Cloud is not a new trend, but it is certainly a
rapidly growing one. The cost effectiveness of
cloud storage, combined with desktop
application features and reliable infrastructure,
means that the adoption of cloud computing
continues to rise. The realisation that the cloud
can virtualise a practice and reduce capital
expenditure on IT infrastructure, while at the
same time providing flexibility to adapt to spikes
and dips in market demand, means firms can be
much braver with their strategies.
In isolation, each of these trends has the
capability to dramatically affect the way a firm
delivers its legal services, but in any combination
they have the capability to be truly disruptive,
delivering boundary-breaking legal offerings that
will set any firm confident enough to adopt them
apart from the rest of the crowd.
For example, the combination of mobile
computing, cloud technology and big data
analysis allows a practice to become truly
virtualised. In turn, this increases their national
(or international) reach without the associated
capital costs, while retaining clarity around
business performance right down to the
definitive level.
Client experience
The concept of merging technologies as a driver
for growth is all well and good, but without
turning the focus on to how the technology
enables a better client experience it is doing little
more than getting in the way of delivering a good
service. To truly disrupt the legal practice, market
attention must be given to the end-consumer of
the legal service: what do they want?
As consumers, we all accept digital interaction
as the norm. Clients requesting or tracking
progress on matters through a website or mobile
app is a natural extension to this, and yet few
legal firms offer it.
Making the client experience exceptional – at
every touch point or interaction – is key to client
retention. If they like dealing with you during the
process, then they are likely to do it again, driving
repeat business. The client experience will
become crucial in the years ahead as firms seek to
refine their firm/client relationship model.
Delivering value at every touch point will become
the differentiator against the competition.
More often than not the next wave of technical
innovation is already with us – it just hasn’t hit the
mainstream yet. Wearable devices, such as
smartwatches, have the capability to be that next
disruptive trend – providing a source of mobile
computing, bite-size data exchange and
analytical tracking, be it through watches, glasses
or bracelets.
Delivering unobtrusive, and filtered, data, such
as emails, in a minimal and easily accessible
screen has the capability to increase productivity
even further – and with the arrival of Apple on the
wearable device scene we can expect an increase
in the use of wearable tech during 2015.
The benefits of adopting disruptive technology
or innovative solutions is ultimately not in the
technology itself, but how it is used. Breaking
away from old service models, delivering better
business practice and improved client service,
breaking the old service models and stealing a
march on the competition – that’s the true power
of being disruptive.
SJ
SJ
Technology Focus
13
Research shows
the average person
checks their
phone up to 110
times a day
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