The Briefing Frontiers 2022 survey results reveal a convergence of strategic business planning and technology infrastructure to bolster industry-wide growth initiatives. Once upon a time, the risk-averse legal industry eschewed technology. Today, leading firms are investigating must-have innovations to attract and retain talent, support a hybrid workforce and enable rapid expansion.
Laying the foundation
As the legal industry moves into the new year, firms are bullish about growth, with nearly three-quarters of survey respondents reporting planned headcount increases. And as firms expand into new geographies and acquire novel talent and specialisations, they’re relying on cloud-based solutions to support a broadly distributed workforce — because without the cloud, firms can’t connect their people, standardise their processes, or unify their data.
Survey data reveals firms are keen on advancing the case for automation for productivity improvements related to both progressing the legal work itself and optimising operations. Investing in operational excellence pays off in a multitude of ways: higher revenue, improved realisation rates, frictionless payment cycles, and favourable client-retention rates — all of which boost profitability.
Adopting next-generation technologies
In addition to cloud solutions and productivity automation, firms are adopting next-generation technologies like AI to build competitive advantage through business agility. Some firms are using AI for conflicts resolution to reduce time-to-resolution significantly and improve the efficacy of the review process by simplifying search and analysis.
AI’s benefits extend well beyond conflicts resolution. Some firms are using AI to improve time capture, starting with reducing the revenue leakage that results when users forget to log billable time. Further, AI enables intelligent visibility into time categorisation, compliance and budget tracking, protecting your firm from costly write-offs and invoice rejection due to non-compliance with outside counsel guidelines.
Seizing the moment
We’re witnessing an inflection point in the legal industry where lightning-fast change has narrowed the window of opportunity for firms to innovate and invest in growth and expansion. In short, this change requires moving firm systems to the cloud. Although firms that already use AI to continuously enhance datasets find themselves ahead of the competitive curve, those that wait – even in the short term – risk falling irreparably behind. Data-set improvements resulting from AI happen quickly, continuously and decisively. Now is the time to act, with investments made today reaping exponential rewards in the future.