Tech trends lead the way for legal services innovation.
Fast-evolving technology presents challenges to the conventional business of law, as well as opportunities for law firms to reshape themselves to confront these threats. Confronted with shifting regulations, increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats and a flood of tech products that promise to boost efficiency, firms need to stay informed, strategize well and act quickly to ensure success. Here are the top three technology trends likely to impact the legal services sector in the upcoming year:
Law firms are natural targets for cyber-thieves looking to steal sensitive client and internal data. Cyber-criminals are employing a varied and growing palette of tools, including variations of ransomware, Denial of Service (DoS) and phishing attacks. While firms are increasing spend on cyber-defenses, a 2018 Help Net Security survey found fewer than half of firms employ high-level cyber-security protocols such as multi-actor authentication (47%), third-party risk assessment (37%), having qualified internal personnel overseeing cyber-security initiatives (34%), and SOC monitoring (24%).
Experts advise firms to develop firm-wide cyber-security protocols overseen by qualified professionals and backed with the appropriate tools. As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning adds risk to the legal services sector, staying informed on the latest developments in legal tech will play a vital role in helping law firms make the best cyber-security choices in 2019.
2) Robotic process automation
The risks of AI are offset in part by its vast potential for law firms to streamline operations and become more cost-efficient. Robotic process automation (RPA) allows firms to delegate data-intensive and repetitious tasks to a virtual workforce of software robots. This lets firms shift onerous work with high human error rates to machines and commit their valuable human capital to more suitable tasks. While RPA has raised fears of creating redundancies within the legal profession, uptake for the technology is expected to grow as firms seek ways to move faster and cut costs.
Kryon is among the key players in the RPA marketplace. Firms use Kryon’s AI-driven Process Discovery tool to determine which of its processes can be automated, then pick and choose from the company’s RPA products to streamline tasks as needed.
3) Project management tools
Just as RPA promises to revolutionize legal workload, project management software is driving change in legal workflow. Maintaining client trust and loyalty is at a premium, and misunderstandings over billing or how a project is being handled can lead to lost business. Proper project management tools allow law firms and companies’ in-house counsel to provide transparent accounting and give themselves the insight needed to streamline and otherwise improve operations. There are numerous project management tools currently available, including ProofHub, Accelo and HighQ, with more powerful and specialized products sure to arrive next year.
Ongoing monitoring of the latest technological trends, threats and opportunities impacting the legal services sector is essential for firms intent on delivering the best client experience, while remaining focused on being efficient on continuously improving.
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This article was originally published on ShiftCentral, now part of LAC Group.