Selecting Law Firm Technology
Let's face it: lawyers can be a skeptical bunch. When it comes to technology, that skepticism often comes with good reason. Law firms are generally risk-averse by nature, and when it comes to investing time and money in new technology, many choose to proceed cautiously. We have laid out five simple steps to help you assess the best software and technology for your law firm.
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Step 1: Assessing Your Needs
When evaluating the latest and greatest in law firm technology, it is essential to assess your current needs to ensure that the new solution is solving a problem you have. This is especially important given the cost associated with implementing new technology. What systems are currently causing you pain points? What are your current client workflows like? What does your current technology stack look like? And what do you see as potential opportunities for improving your existing workflows? By assessing your current needs, you can ensure that you're selecting a technology that will solve an existing problem. Otherwise, you risk putting a lot of time and money into a solution that won't return enough value to justify its cost.
Step 2: Narrowing Down Your Options
Once you've identified pain points and areas of opportunity within your firm, you can begin to sift through the many new technologies on the market. There are, however, many factors to consider. What are the core needs of your firm? Who is the target client for your firm? What is the existing technology stack at your firm? What is the company culture of your firm? What is the budget for new technology? By answering these questions, you can more effectively narrow down your options. For example, if you're targeting a specific handful of industries, you may want to consider industry-specific solutions. Or maybe your firm's culture is such that you don't want your employees to feel like they're "being watched"; in that case, you may want to avoid surveillance technology. Or maybe you've outgrown your current vendor, and you're looking for a new integrated solution; in that case, you may want to evaluate the functionality provided by different solutions to determine which best fits your workflow.
Step 3: Understanding the Value of New Technology
This is where things can get tricky. You must be able to effectively communicate the value of the new technology to your firm. This means bridging the gap between what the technology can do and how it will help your firm achieve its goals. Done effectively, the technology should feel like a natural extension of the firm. This may sound tricky, but it's not. You have to take a step back, consider your needs and goals, and consider how the new technology will help you solve those problems. Then, when you're introducing this new technology to your firm, make sure to articulate how it will provide value. You'd be surprised how often this is overlooked.
Step 4: Establishing ROI for New Technology
This step is crucial. It's not enough to say that new technology will provide value to your firm; you must be able to back that up with data. You must be able to quantify the value of the technology in terms of hard ROI. By establishing hard ROI, you're putting the data in black and white. This makes the data easier to understand and more difficult to ignore. It's not enough to say that the new technology will increase efficiency. Instead, it would be best to clearly define the percentage increase in efficiency you expect due to adopting the technology.
When selecting technology for your firm, it's important to remember that you're not choosing a solution just for implementing it. You choose an answer because you see a tangible value in its implementation. If you don't know that value, then don't implement the solution. It's that simple. Ultimately, technology does not solve people's problems. It solves problems that people create with technology. So, when evaluating technology for adoption, you must remember that it's not about the technology itself. It's about how that technology will help you solve a problem.