There is a pattern of innovation during global pandemics.
In the 1340s, Europe was devastated by the black plague, where around 30% of the population died. Yet, a number of labour-saving innovations took place – leading to prosperity after the plague.
Then, in 1918, around 3% of the world’s population perished from Spanish Flu. However, this ushered in socialised medicine – an idea still utilised today.
COVID-19 innovations in law
Much like previous pandemics, COVID-19 is fostering innovation both large and small.
People have rapidly adopted new technology and gained new skills. Initially, to stay connected with family, friends, clients and colleagues. But, with more time in isolation, people explored new ways to live and work.
In fact, by mid-May 2020:
- InfoTrack saw a 260% in WebVOI and 70% increase in e-signatures
- Zoom reported a 50% increase in meeting participants, to 300 million every day
And at FilePro, we have seen firms re-engineer processes while simultaneously adopting new technologies – almost overnight. Technology has been the enabler to manage information, freeing staff to work with clients on the strategy to resolve their legal issue – all while maintaining physical distancing.
But, will it last?
Are these recent trends a recognition that changing the ‘way things are done’ is no longer optional?
Has this time brought into sharp focus that better use of technology enhances a firm’s capacity to respond with agility to changing conditions?
So we wanted to share our experience from working with firms who have made lasting technological and cultural changes – in the hope that your firm can make the most of this period of disruption and come out with sustained improvements.
Here are four things that these firms have in common:
Allocate technology champions
Allocating a ‘champion’ who becomes a role model and gains the team’s support enables transparent communication throughout the entire process.
This open, inclusive environment creates an eagerness to implement real change and new procedures.
Ultimately, this positive experience builds confidence that changes will improve the client experience and the firm’s culture.
Training, training, training
There is such a thing as too much change, too quickly. And without proper education, it will overwhelm your staff, and potentially increase errors and staff churn.
In our experience, a comprehensive training plan (like FilePro’s Unlimited Training initiative) is imperative when re-engineering, resulting in a smooth transition to new technology and building confidence in continuous improvement.
Understand data privacy and security
The staggeringly quick adoption of WFH means firms need to understand security risks, especially around ownership and privacy of client and staff data.
As the AFR reported,
“Companies are under-estimating the cybersecurity risks posed by their employees’ use of technology and are facing increasing threats as more workers work remotely during the coronavirus crisis.”
While companies overwhelmingly viewed the theft of confidential information as the most important cyber threat, they suffered more breaches from email phishing scams or the accidental disclosure of confidential information.”
It’s equally important to consider how data is stored, and whether you can withdraw or move your data to another provider – particularly the difference between public and private hosting.
So, make sure you have comprehensive security across all your technology and that data is stored in an environment over which you have full control.
Lean on your technology provider
Technology-led change is no longer the exclusive domain of large or NewLaw firms. Firms recognise that clients want to see that lawyers are doing things efficiently.
But, at the same time, firms want to transform in an informed manner, maintaining control of critical aspects of their firm – data, client experience and culture.
We encourage all firms to lean on their technology providers to transform and reengineer dated processes to be able to maintain the positive innovations in culture and technology developed during this pandemic.
To learn more about benchmarking your technology and processes, download our video. Or to answer your specific questions, contact FilePro on 1300 65 33 80.