2020 threw just about everyone off-kilter with the most intense market disruption of any industrial age. Agility and pivoting were the rescuers of many, while tardy adaptation saw some competitors ruthlessly relegated from industry leadership roles. The events of 2020 laid the platform for 2021 to assert the dominance of software advancements in almost every business, especially legal.
What Types of Software Do Law Firms Need in 2021
The digital transformation had been simmering, but the explosion of remote work, virtual offices, process automation, as well as other previously accepted practices, have dissolved. Client expectations have soared in line with changing industries, globalization, and transparency.
It demands your law firm ups their game in terms of efficiency, response rates, and accuracy. Investing in the right software is a considerable challenge, but even digital market evaluators are automating this process for productivity.
1. Legal Contract Analysis Software
With the advent of mass hyper-automation, patience is dramatically reduced. The average attention span has decreased to around 10 minutes. Clients are no longer happy to wait for paperwork and contracts to be drawn up, proofread, and put through lengthy review processes. Inaccuracy is intolerable, and inefficiency casts a shadow of outdatedness.
Solutions for improving fundamental contractual processes are on the rise, especially as the entire legal profession encounters the same inefficiency. Contracts are the common denominator in a multi-variate industry. Legal Contract Analysis Software is the future of contract creation as proofreading, editing, and quality document presentation is the minimum benchmark of professional practice.
2. Cloud Distributed File Sharing
If we learned one thing from the remote working world, it is that cloud solutions are making life much more collaborative, efficient, and accessible. Distributed cloud software is becoming the heart of the shift. For those unfamiliar with the distributed cloud, you are late to the game. The distributed cloud maintains governance over cloud shared services in one physical location while affording accessibility for multiple remote locations.
What it means for those who had reservations about migrating to cloud technology is increased security, reduced latency, and dramatically decreased risk of network failure. For an industry reliant on efficiency, file sharing, and accurate response rates, the answer is in embracing distributed cloud technology.
3. Streamlined Billing and Accountancy
Legal clients are increasingly requesting transparency as a microcosm of a greater society. Every business is subject to public reviews as service providers or employers. The need to provide provably clear, fair, and equitable services is where most markets are headed. Law firms will be subjected to the rigor of public opinion on accountancy practices as billable and accountancy management are scrutinized.
Diligence and compliance have always been vital signs of an effective law firm. The intensity of the public eye and advancements in system automation demand the most astute and proficient in accountancy management. Incorporating streamlined software with integrated billing, contract dashboard management, and accounting applications will be the predicted step forward. Staying on top of cases, contracts and financials remain staples, but intolerance for inefficiency is mandating modernized software systems.
4. Operational Automation
The basis of competition is changing drastically with added pressure to cut out outdated practices. Automation, streamlining, and trimming off unnecessary time have become the new battlegrounds. Those who can trim the fattest out of their practice increase profit margins, offer lower-cost services, and significantly boost sales.
The implementation of artificial intelligence is circumventing previous inefficiencies in the sales cycle. AI platforms are harmonizing the capture and analysis process creating informed opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and enriching client relationships based on deepened data sets. Employing the right AI software is increasing new business stewardship and improving decision making with regard to finance ethics and strategy.
5. Case Management Improvement
Project management as a field has been a major beneficiary of the integration of effective software models. Project planning, task generation, and delegation have all helped to systemize a profession where forgetfulness and oversight can be catastrophic.
Thankfully, the integration of PM software has extended to the legal environment. Scannable caseloads, speedy delegation, and workflow automation have been the result. As we verge on laboring the point, automation and speed of operations have never been more critical, and every edge makes a law firm more competitive. Employing legal project management software will likely be the standard by early 2021.
6. Enhanced Security is Non-Negotiable
Law firms operate under a heightened expectation of security. Competition is at its most fierce, and a law firm is expected to be the most trusted companion. Of course, suggesting software improvements to counteract a digital threat may feel counterintuitive, but the software is not causing the majority of issues. Human error is.
Over 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Incorporating security software aims to eradicate potential breaches and tighten any avenues where human error plays a part. As obvious targets, law firms are in the scopes of competitors, hackers and up to 26% of firms have experienced some form of data attack. Incorporating trusted software is the minimum standard for firms with high profile or large client lists.
To Sum It All Up…
2021 for most industries will be a type of sorting season after the show of 2020. It will bear a resemblance to surveying a town after significant seismic activity to see what is still standing. The remaining competitors will survive due to their agility and ability to pivot when the time came.
The coming year will see the field of competition be unscrupulous to internal operations as increasing client expectations demand more in a more complex world. Inaccuracy, inefficiency, insecurity, and disorganization are no longer acceptable to clients who need a solution yesterday. Legal contract analysis software will be the starting point of integration, but a huge change is afoot. The profit-making ability has come in for close attention, and finding a competitive edge is at the behest of the automation and software decisions of your firm.