Today, your Tech Stack will either grow you, slow you, or kill you
The best thing that law firms can do in 2022, as harsh as it may sound, is fire people in the firm that are resistant to, or unwilling to, adapt to new technology.
It’s a vastly different game today. The pace of new technology was always fast, but nothing like now. And Covid has forced us to true hyper-acceleration, and all businesses, including professional services firms like law firms, hold on to the past at their own risk. Even Moore’s law is now being challenged, and big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics are soon to become tools for even the smallest of professional service firms, as strange as that may sound.
Holding on to people that want to go back to or retain “the way we used to do it” is a no-growth, slow-death, strategy.
As a founder and Head of Strategy for a law firm technology provider, ConnectTMA, I hear many of the same things I heard as CEO of a software company for accounting firms when I talk about tech. “I will have resistance from some staff to change,” or “some of my people are saying “others can use it but not me.”
The accounting software company was at the leading edge of new tech, having developed and brought to market several unique “firsts” to drive efficiencies in accounting firms, but many firms knew the benefits and licensed products, yet many still didn’t force it in their firms across the board. The result? Historically, slow adoption even within firms that licensed it! And slow adoption of new technology in general was also an issue. A couple of simple examples in accounting firms are the adoption of paperless, and the movement to the cloud. In our software company, we had a document management system for paperless offices in 1998, and our entire product offering in online versions by 1999. Yet adoption was incredibly slow, and we anxiously waited for a few competitive followers to come along to lend credibility to what we were doing.
Now that I have switched to providing technology solutions for law firms, I see the same foot-dragging in that profession. But there are some firms that get it, and that movement is accelerating. Those are the progressives. They tend to grow revenue at an extremely fast pace. You want – or rather you must – become one of them if you are not one already.
Now it’s a different game, as professional firms are competing at all levels – to retain clients, for new clients, for attracting new people, and just overall expanding into new practice offerings or geographic areas. Don’t let people in your firm drag it down. It’s incredible how much damage that Office Manager, Receptionist, staff attorney, paralegal or heaven forbid, Partner, can hold back your firm by not stepping up to the best, most advanced tech you can place in the firm. Regardless of the time they have been with you, say goodbye to them and exit them. Fast.