At a recent roundtable event held by the Law Gazette to discus the role of IT in the delivery of legal services, it was widely agreed that client-facing technologies could be an important differentiator between legal service providers and their competitors.
Among some of the more progressive firms, technology is already proving itself to be a valuable tool in meeting client demands, while also making working practices more efficient and meeting regulatory requirements. In order to remain commercially competitive, there is an increasing demand on legal businesses to investigate digital solutions that can improve efficiency and manage risk. At the top of this list is the issue of cybercrime – an important consideration in any organisation and an integral part of any business continuity plan.
Of course, progress typically places demands on IT resources and budgets. Getting the right team in place and finding the best outsourced expertise is a challenge for any firm. Indeed, firms admit that overcoming the culture clash between legal service provision and the process for developing systems and software is often a challenge in itself.
IT projects by their very nature follow a programme of development, which is counter-intuitive to a lawyer’s need to “get things right first time”. The phased approach to developing digital tools can be frustrating but necessary for legal professionals, and is considered by many firms to be a necessary part of the learning curve.
In the case of client-facing technologies, lawyers have identified the next stage of the digital process to be just as challenging – that of introducing the client to a digital solution and obtaining their “buy-in”. This must be done by offering proof of benefit and the value added by any IT tool.
Fortunately for legal service providers, there are also digital solutions out there that do not entail the same drain on resources and for which a firm is not directly put under pressure or required to justify costs. In the case of third-party platforms such as The Law Superstore, which is free to use for clients and free to feature on for Partner firms, the rewards are significantly greater than the risks. And with no referral fees whatsoever until November 2016 it is possible for our Partner firms to gain new business and benefit from all of the functionality of a comparison tool at no cost.
Want to know more about how you can join The Law Superstore? Why not watch our Partner video here or register for our next webinar here in order to learn more about the legal profession’s first real-time comparison website.