Digital is fast becoming a focus for legal firms. Although traditional in their make-up, we expect to see a shift from conventional to digital this year.

Are you a legal firm at a loss on where to begin your digital journey? To help with planning your digital strategy, read our top IT predictions for the legal industry in 2017…

Predicted Legal Industry Trends for 2017

‘Digital Firms’ Will Increase Billable Hours

Digital technologies help you to work smarter, save time and reduce costs. Ultimately, allowing you to get more done in less time.

A recent study conducted by Blue Hill Research looked at 45 legal firms and their use of digital. Their findings concluded that the ‘digital firms’ saw a decrease in time spent on non-value, administrative activities. In turn, resulting in an increase of billable hours. With digital adoption growing at a rapid pace, we expect to see more firms making better use of technology and increase their billable hours in 2017.

Cyber Security Will Be a Top Priority

The Solicitors Regulation has pinpointed confidentiality and data protection to be the key areas of concern for all firms. This comes as no surprise, considering the rise in cyberattacks across the industry. With large sums of money and client information being held, legal firms are prime targets for these notorious cyber-criminals.

The cost of a data breach is also increasing. Research from IBM has found that the average consolidated cost has grown from 3.8 million to 4.8 million from 2015 to 2016. And this is expected to increase in 2017. It’s time to baton down the hatches and ensure your security measures have no points of weakness.

More Firms Will Move to the Cloud

New technologies have security at their core, and can support your defence strategy in protecting your firm against cyber-attacks. Cloud providers eat, sleep and breathe security and invest heavily into these added defences. The Cloud Industry Forum also support this, with research highlighting that 2% of businesses using cloud services had experienced a breach.

Further research by McKinsey has shown that 70% of business owners have delayed cloud migration because of security concerns. We believe that this is due to a knowledge gap in the understanding of the security benefits Cloud can bring. With more understanding on the added security benefits associated with Cloud we expect to see more firms including it as part of their digital strategy in 2017.

Technology to Enhance the Client Experience

Legal firms are beginning to leverage social media and other engagement tools. With legal industry trends changing, and technology adoption expected to grow this year, more firms will use digital tools to connect and engage better with their clients. Microsoft have predicted 2017 will be the year of the ‘User Experience’. So if you want to get to grips with your security, increase billable hours and better engage with your clients, you must make 2017 the year for digital!

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