When people think of lawyers, digital transformation is generally not the first thing to spring to mind. They might think of courtrooms, of paperwork, of confusing legal jargon, but probably not of digital innovation. Legal firms and departments lag behind in digital transformation but will need to begin to embrace it if they are to survive into the future.
Sadly, according to Gartner, only 19% of in-house legal teams are currently well positioned to support enterprise digital efforts. McKinsey estimates that 23% of work done by lawyers can be automated by existing technology. The profession needs to be shocked by figures like these and to prioritise digital transformation to avoid pockets of it becoming obsolete.
How can legal divisions or companies start to change? Rather than beginning with technology, they should start with the human element.
Legal businesses and departments must make the cultural shift. This involves being open to collaboration, embracing new skills, and taking a wider approach to problem solving. The profession needs to become more agile to keep up with the rapidly evolving business world and its clients. It needs to learn the meaning of client-centric.
This will mean:
- Becoming aware of the need to transform
- Taking a step back to focus on the bigger picture, rather than focusing only on day-to-day business
- Thinking long-term and planning for what challenges and opportunities may arrive further down the line and not just in the immediate future
- Shifting from being internally focused to being client-focused (the difference between “these are the services we provide” to asking “what problems can we solve for our clients?”)
- Overcoming resistance to change, which means new leadership skills too
There is an opportunity for the legal profession to take advantage of advances in technology, from big data to AI, legal research and cloud collaboration. These can help to modernise business systems, improve efficiency, mitigate risk and ultimately enable the digital experiences customers now expect. Digital transformation delivers real business value.
The future of the legal sector can be exciting if the industry is willing to embrace change and enable its people to begin the journey to digital transformation.
Numata Business IT understands the legal industry and can help your organisation to embrace digital transformation while supporting your business goals.
Get in touch today to find out more.