The race is on--but most law firms aren’t investing in technology fast enough

September 25, 2018 RSS

Today we released the findings of a technology adoption survey conducted in collaboration with The Lawyer and what we found out was fascinating.  Law firms just aren’t making the investments in technology fast enough to remain competitive.

First, let me provide some background information. More than 300 leading law firms across the globe were polled to identify where firms are on the “data-driven insights and intelligent automation adoption curve.” Our objective was to see how big the gap is between interest in automated, intelligence technology and its actual utilization. Here is what we learned.

Our research found that most law firms understand that intelligent automation and analytics technologies are crucial to thriving in the client-empowered era. In fact, firms indicated that they believe utilizing intelligent automation is important in nearly every part of the client lifecycle. However, actual utilization rates are low across the board.

The results support what we hear from customers and prospects frequently: while every law firm considers intelligent automation and data-driven insights to be highly important, there is a significant gap between this recognition and the actual investment in these technologies.

In other words, the research clearly shows that law firms have not yet aligned their technology investments with their long-term strategic plans, resulting in limited levels of current investment in these technologies across the full client lifecycle.

Here is a summary of some of the key findings:

  • 90 percent of respondents stated that intelligent automation for opportunity identification and cross-selling is important, yet only 16 percent of law firms report they are currently utilizing data-driven insight for this purpose.
  • Although 86 percent of law firms agree that automation is important to deliver insight and analytics to clients, only 18 percent have, to date, made the investments necessary to embed this capability into their service delivery models.
  • 97 percent deem intelligent automation to be important for conflicts, yet only 44 percent of firms are taking advantage of data-driven insight in this area.
  • While 90 percent of firms believe that using data-driven insight to manage client terms is important, only 16 percent currently use technology solutions for this purpose.
  • 87 percent of firms feel intelligent automation is important for resource allocation, yet only 14 percent have invested in this area.

Although driving growth is a strategic focus of many law firms, to date most firms have primarily invested in back-office financial management and HR systems and in technology that drives operational efficiencies for client delivery.

Data shows us that a unified, intelligent, automated software platform is the solution. The data also shows us that law firms already know this. To close the gap between awareness and action, attitudes about technology need to change. It has to be seen as a strategic advantage, not a nuisance or cost. And investment in technology for front-office applications must be increased.

What are the implications for the industry?

This gap between interest and utilization needs to close fast if firms want to remain competitive in today’s market. The more forward-thinking and global top-tier firms are the ones poised to win more business and compete successfully in this client-empowered era. For everyone else, the race to keep up with modern technology and sustain growth is only going to become faster and more challenging.

If you do not move, you will be left behind.

To access the global research report click here: https://www.intapp.com/insights/global-report/

Read the infographic here: https://www.intapp.com/insights/close-technology-gap/

Written by: John Hall

John Hall is the CEO of Intapp.  Since joining the company in 2004, he has built Intapp into a global leader in software for professional services firms, serving 1100 customers.  He is a regular presenter at industry events, covering topics such as technology and innovation – particularly how innovation can enable client success.  Prior to joining Intapp, John co-founded VA Linux Systems and helped lead the company from its start-up phase to its IPO. 


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