28 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | MAR 2022 THE DIGITISATION OF THE LEGAL PROCESS which were more advanced on their digital transformation journey – had an easier ride during the height of the pandemic. The pandemic has really put the focus on the value that IT contributes to businesses and the way in which they work. There are many firms (large and small) that are currently reviewing their IT strategies and speeding up their digital transformation journeys as a result. Additionally, the rise of online courts and electronic court bundles is something that has been accelerated because of the pandemic and that will only increase in the future. Quite simply, without technology most firms would not have survived the switch to remote working caused by COVID-19. Efficiency and profitability Even with the worst of the pandemic now seemingly over, the drive towards digitalisation continues. Part of the reason behind this drive is that clients always want more for less. The market at all levels is hugely competitive and at the top end, global law firms are increasingly automating basic legal processes or moving to less expensive parts of the world. For smaller law firms, there is also an increasing visibility of cost for legal services via the internet. If firms are to continue to compete and maintain profit levels, more efficient ways of operating need to be found, whilst maintaining quality of service. Firms are increasingly using case/matter management tools which automate or deskill certain work by automatically sending out emails or requests for information at appropriate times, allowing the heavy lifting of the work to be done by more junior staff. Other tools, such as time capture, can help overcome issues over lost or forgotten time, and speech recognition tools that can speed up the creation of documents can improve the efficiency of a firm. That enables these businesses to provide a better service to clients and ultimately improve profitability. So, what do law businesses need to consider when adopting technology into their businesses? Matching technology to strategy Technology advancement is facilitating a lot of change in firms and has helped them meet many of the challenges they faced during the pandemic, but it has also created new challenges. Issues such as security have climbed higher on the agenda for every firm over the last couple of years, while data sovereignty also remains a problem, particularly if data is held on the cloud. One of the major challenges facing many firms at present is finding a way to navigate through this potential minefield of technology. There is so much technology now available that it is often difficult for There is so much technology now available that it is often difficult for businesses to know what to do first and to ensure that it will deliver value to the firm.