The legal industry is arguably facing its most precipitous challenge ever. With digital transformation at its fulcrum, a new tipping point has been reached.

When it comes to change, adapting, and enduring, there’s one Charles Darwin quote that seems fitting especially during this period of transformative next-generation technology: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, it is the one most responsive to change.”

To avoid being left behind in a race against the clock, organizations need to look at digital transformation as a necessary enterprise-wide strategy. Transformation should focus on the customer experience, and all systems and operations must connect an organization’s people, processes, and technologies—an ecosystem of harmonious cloud-based tools to seamlessly exchange data, enhance collaboration, and enhance customer engagement.

As we navigate this increasingly complex state of rapid and unceasing evolution, commitment to digital transformation is paramount. The digital tipping point has been passed.

Driving business value through digital.

It is an unprecedented period of rapid change. Organizations are addressing new complexities, the pressures to reduce inefficiencies, and the hesitancy to move forward. Compounded by increasing regulation, the need for greater security, and demanding customer expectations, leaders at law firms and corporate legal departments need to aim for something out of their comfort zone

Simply put, organizations need to acknowledge that change is happening and it’s happening quickly. Can they keep pace?

The emergence of new technologies has had a profound, permanent impact on how organizations run. How leaders respond to changes and how quickly will determine how adaptable their organizations will be. It should be at the core of their business capabilities.

For law firms and legal departments that are adaptable, more efficiencies will be experienced. To support this, leaders need to architect their organizations conjunctly with rapid change. Since customer relationship primacy has always been a source of value for legal, accelerating an organization’s digital transformation is crucial in addressing quickly changing customer behaviors and expectations.

With actionable insight, leaders can optimize the technology systems used to reduce inefficiencies, enhance productivity, and improve the customer experience.  

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The customer’s perspective.

Acquiring and retaining more customers helps to make an organization profitable. So, it makes sense to focus on creating a business model that puts the customer first. Investing in the right technology is essential to achieving a better customer experience.

By shifting away from the traditional IT focus to an approach focused on accelerating change, organizations can invest far more heavily in developing new capabilities.

As customer needs evolve, responding to change quickly will remain a competitive advantage. Creating processes that constantly cumulate customer insights, and spinning those insights into new customer-centric competencies will support an organization’s ability to adapt. 

Take, for instance, the rapid growth of mobile devices in our everyday lives. From sending emails to streaming videos to banking transactions, mobile has significant implications for legal. Mobile devices are continuously equipped with more and better functionality, transforming the traditional interaction model with the customer. Their expectations for services on the move such as electronic signatures and other interactive applications have formed the basis of the mobile customer’s engagement with legal.

A preference for digital is now globally pervasive among legal customers, so moving towards a customer-centric value model will play an instrumental role in achieving a digital-first strategy that embraces change. A move to being digitally competent has evolved from traditional interactions and processes to a broach, rich set of capabilities that establish trust and builds engagement with customers.

Getting the most from technology investments.

With a clear understanding of customer requirements and appreciating that all business strategies and actions touch the customer in an interrelated way, comprehensively scaling a transformation can begin. The customer experience becomes the core of all functions, systems, and operations. Connecting people, processes, and technologies across the organization can be accomplished.

Ensuring that an organization is getting the most from the investments means:

  • It supports current business priorities and objectives.
  • C-level sponsorship and support are provided.
  • IT spending and business capabilities are aligned.
  • Key stakeholders and users have been identified and they invest time.
  • Proper initial and ongoing training is provided and delivers efficiencies.
  • It is taking a proactive approach to performing preventative maintenance.
  • Replacing devices periodically (every few years) with more efficient options.

It is important to have all the information you need at your disposal before making investment decisions. Getting requirements right, partnering with an experienced third-party resource, investing in implementation, and training your end-users are all keys to success.

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Better decisions at the speed of change.

Properly identifying the connection between process challenges and issues and business value is critical for leaders to better understand where investments are needed. But managing waste is also a top priority. Costs must be controlled and spending optimized. By having visibility into how much is currently allocated and if the tech is actually being used (and effectively), organizations can better assess their opportunities.

Rapid and proper adoption of any technology helps organizations keep pace. And being able to shift quickly also becomes a critical business competency. It helps organizations focus more on their customers since they are the reason why the need to be adaptive and responsive exists. With efficient use of technology, building an organization that is capable of changing and keeping pace quickly will positively accelerate business transformation.