Digital may be all about a collection of 1s and 0s but to work in the digital world is no longer seen to be the domain of geeks lacking flair.
Tech has made us think differently over the last decade, encouraging us to question existing structures, challenge preconceptions and initiate change.
Only a few days ago the head of Ford motor cars was asked where he saw the corporation’s biggest challenges coming from over the next five years. His response not only name-checked traditional rivals General Motors but also Apple and Google. In a world where phones are no longer just phones, why should cars be considered merely transportation vehicles? Why can’t they be self-driving offices or entertainment centres?
In the face of such rapid changes to the way we live and work, it occurs to me that autonomous vehicles provide us with a handy metaphor: we can either be a passenger and wait to see what the future holds; or we can take the wheel and set our own course at this particular fork in the road.
‘Innovation’ and ‘agility’ sounds cool. But how many legal service providers are really throwing their hat into the ring on either count? Are they striding towards progress or making incremental improvements that neglect the greater demand for change on the horizon?
The tech tail wagging the dog
Not a day goes by when the media aren’t reporting about another tech start-up revolutionising the way society functions. From shopping to book-keeping to ordering taxis, digital natives are at the very cutting edge of innovation and creativity.
I believe, however, that there is a crucial role to be played by those within established industries to take the initiative and be at the forefront of progress, rather than being overtaken by new entrants with all the digital skills but no understanding of a profession’s nuances. To create a truly beneficial proposition for the client, legal service providers need to be invested in innovation and bring their deeper understanding of their sector to bear.
This is the challenge that should really be thrown out to industry professionals. Become an innovator, dream big, establish need and work towards achieving solutions to problems that exist within the sector. Legal service providers should be instigating change and looking to collaborate with tech experts rather than reluctantly adopting innovations developed by IT specialists working in isolation.
‘Collaboration’ is the key word here. Just ask the team at The Law Superstore where decades of legal experience and expertise is married with a talented team of developers to solve a very challenging problem: how can we make the complex legal world easier to access for the man and woman on the street.
As we enter into a new era for the legal profession, the scope for new products and services is great. And, as one legal commentator stated, it is a healthy combination of ‘inspiration and discipline’ that will see legal service providers become stronger in the future.
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