By Legal Futures Associate Tiger Eye
As legal IT specialists and a full-service iManage Partner, Tiger Eye support customers to work efficiently and boost productivity, delivering solutions for every step of the document and email journey.
As a trusted advisor to law firms around the world, we are often asked what the key trends are in the legal technology space – and how firms can seize new opportunities presented by new technologies. To help with this, our Client Success Team have summarised the eight key legal technology trends in the market, as well as the themes discussed at recent legal technology events and conferences including the British Legal Technology Forum and iManage ConnectLive Virtual 2023, both of which we were proud to sponsor.
1. Artificial Intelligence
This year, generative AI was quoted as the key theme of the British Legal Technology Forum by keynote speaker, Richard Susskind. With the increasing popularity of A.I. technologies such as Chat GPT, A.I. is one of the key trends in the legal technology market this year. Through the time saving automation of routine law firm tasks, such as administrative work, data analysis and trend analysis, A.I. promises to supercharge efficiency savings in the very near future – allowing fee-earners to focus on more high-level work. In addition to A.I. tools, machine learning technologies will continue to be integrated into familiar software and utilised by key vendors, such as with iManage’s Insight product, helping firms to deliver value faster through the intelligent management and utilisation of business content and communications.
2. Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management has been a trend on the horizon for quite some time, but in 2023 more firms than ever before are prioritising KM projects, refining the ways in which they manage, curate, share and access the knowledge they produce – and how this can create value for their clients. By using Knowledge Management software such as Tiger Eye Blueprint, firms can cultivate expertise from every department and team, collating all information into one easily accessible and searchable database. Knowledge Management will be a critical focus area for this year and beyond, as firms look to maximise existing collective information and experiences. Those which adopt such practices and technologies will be able to show clients the depth of their shared expertise – and maintain their ever-important competitive edge.
3. The Cloud
Cloud technology will continue to be an essential part of many law firms’ digital transformation journeys. Attitudes towards cloud technologies have changed in recent years and even months, and with this many firms are racing to the cloud in 2023 – particularly in light of iManage’s recent End of Life announcement for FileSite and DeskSite. Offering fully scalable, elastic and secure zero touch, zero trust architecture, the iManage Cloud platform enables users to collaborate remotely while offering firms predictable running costs and immediate access to updates. Firms are – and will continue to be – increasingly drawn to the time-saving opportunities that come with managed updates, automatic system updates and enhanced system uptime.
In recent years, firms have adopted more and more applications and systems to boost fee-earner productivity. In 2023, we are seeing a record-breaking number of product launches (including those powered by Large Language Model (LLMs)). As with most legal technology trends, these new solutions are designed to reduce time waste and minimise low-value tasks. For example, many firms are turning to Microsoft Power Automate to automate processes using low-code, drag-and-drop tools. No code application building platforms are also rising in popularity, enabling non-technical teams to create and utilise data-driven applications to streamline knowledge work.
However, connecting these otherwise disparate systems together seamlessly is now more important than ever, as firms aim to reduce the need to switch between systems during key workflows including document production processes. For example, integrations such as our Practice Management System to iManage integration are becoming increasingly popular, as firms aim to minimise the tedious manual work needed to move data from one system to another, and maintain two ‘sources of truth’ through regular manual upkeep.
In response to the pandemic, mobility became increasingly important not only in the legal sector, but across all businesses. Whilst the office vs hybrid vs remote working debate continues amongst law firms around the world, mobile and accessible technology is critical for firms looking to offer any level of working flexibility for staff. Mobility technology trends include cloud technologies, and systems to enable offline working for commutes (such as the iManage Mobility App), which enables users to access vital information and produce work products wherever they may be.
6. Task tracking
Task management tools are essential for fee-earner collaboration. With the launch of task tracking applications such as iManage Tracker, firms are now able to integrate once separate systems with their document management system, reducing time waste in everyday processes such as creating contracts. With iManage Tracker’s ability to pre-populate task lists, firms using this tool are able to dramatically decrease time spent on task admin, enabling busy fee-earners to focus on more profitable tasks. What’s more, through systems like this, firms are able to access high-level and detailed overviews of all tasks undertaken, providing visibility into areas where efficiency can be improved at both the client and matter level.
7. Contract management
Contract management software continues to be a key legal technology trend in 2023. Such technologies automate the labour-intensive process of contract management, while simultaneously reducing the risk of human error (which can leave firms vulnerable to compliance issues and regulatory action). Tools such as iManage’s Contract Intelligence solution build on this by using artificial intelligence to reduce tedious manual methods such as information retrieval, with the system identifying and extracting information from legal documents to streamline the document contract formation process.
8. Merger Management Technology
In recent years, mergers in the legal technology market have skyrocketed as both big names and small boutique firms unite to create powerhouses in the sector. The recent announcement by Allen & Overy and Shearman Sterling shows that this trend is continuing in 2023. However, when firms combine, the process of managing data (including document and email databases) is complex and time-consuming unless the right external support is sourced. With this, many merging firms consider pre-packaged services such as Tiger Eye’s Merger Management bundle, enabling their IT teams to migrate critical sensitive documents seamlessly and effectively with minimal firmwide disruption, supported by one trusted vendor throughout the complex process.
In conclusion, legal technology trends are rapidly changing, and it can be increasingly hard for firms to stay ahead of the curve. Cutting through the trends and finding the right investment for your firm can be difficult, however Tiger Eye’s consultative approach can help you identify which next step to take on your document and email journey. To find out more, visit our website here.