We are all very familiar with the chaos that has impacted every industry including law firms, employees, clients, and the courtroom this year. This has resulted in an increased interest in tech tools to help enable a close-to seamless transition to the legal industry working from home while still serving clients. What trends are at the top of legal tech? Wait no longer-- the results are in!
The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) has published the results of its 2020 Annual Technology Survey. Every year ILTA surveys firms of all sizes to provide data on how lawyers and firms are using legal technology. This year's survey, because of it's timing with the COVID pandemic, provides unsurprisingly an increase on remote tools and cloud technology,
The survey results this year came from 470 different firms, 103,000+ attorneys, and over 208,000 users. 66% of the responses came from firms under 150 attorneys while the other 34% of participants were in firms over 150 attorneys. While there were many insightful findings and trends, two that were most interesting to the BigSquare team are remote tools and cloud technology.
Useful Remote Tech Tools
Participants were surveyed about the most useful remote tools that their law firm utilized during work-from-home mandates. It's not surprising that some of the most popular tools were those for communication, not only ones that helped to replace in person and face to face functionality such as videoconferencing, but also those already in place like email. Chat and document management coming in at the top as well, which both help for virtual collaboration.
Undoubtably the most popular technology relied upon during the pandemic has been videoconferencing, over 90% of participants reported that their firms used it to facilitate collaboration. Other notable items were email at 68%, followed by chat at 54% and document sharing at 43%.
You can have the greatest tools and technology, but what is key to running any successful business, company, law firm is communication. Not only internally but externally as well. We've come a long way with the tools that can be used, and I imagine that these will continue in legal and advance to even more complex tech in the coming years.
One of the notable trends this year in the survey was cloud technology acceptance. No doubt the pandemic and lockdown accelerated this cloud trend trend. With the sudden work from home and remote work lifestyle the increase probably would have not happened as quickly without that extra push. Participants were asked how to describe their cloud philosophy, and 21% reported that their firms were mostly in the cloud, 35% shared that their firms philosophy was to transition to the cloud with every software upgrade, and 33% shared that their firms were considering the cloud. These findings are very similar to the shift we have seen with our clients at BigSquare. Our BI cloud solution is gaining quick popularity with many firms like Leech Tishman. Read more here about their experience with a cloud BI solution and how it's helping their firm throughout these times.
We've learned quickly this year that the legal industry can and must be adaptable. Even since the results of this survey were collected at the beginning of the year remote work has increased and become very common. Law firm leaders are finding that the move to the cloud is inevitable. With the current work landscape it's necessary to maintain a smooth transition to remote work. Undoubtedly those firms who intended to migrate to the cloud within the next year have most likely fast-tracked their plans in order to ensure stability throughout the pandemic and beyond.
The results of this survey further evidence that law firms big and small are viewing the move to cloud technology as unavoidable, and many have stayed ahead of the curve to move quickly with that transition because of the pandemic. Another notable trend is that remote working tools are helping to keep clear communication between both employees and clients. These tools help to fill any gaps to make it almost seamless to work from home.
This year has clearly been a year of transformation. We experienced firms who may have been hesitant before quickly turn to technology to help in day to day operations. With this pivot, I would assume that the future of technology is only at the turning point for the legal industry and it will continue to become more and more invaluable. As leaders in the legal technology space, specifically business intelligence and analytics, the team at BigSquare is excited for what's to come in the industry and what we are able to do to help firms gain greater insight into key metrics. Our focus at BigSquare is to provide your firm a business intelligence solution that you can provide to all members by transforming data into dashboards that are actionable and intuitive.
- To view the full survey click here
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