In this ever-developing technological world, what should your law firm’s technology budget focus on? It’s an age-old question: do you stick to what you know, or do you take the leap and move with the times?
According to the Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor Index report released in February; expenses incurred by law firms for technology increased 5.8% in Q4 of 2021. This increase is likely to continue to flow into 2022.
Understandably, a sizeable part of a law firm’s technology budget focuses on system maintenance, upkeep, and networks. The costs of merely ensuring every employee can access and use the computer system is significant.
However, simply maintaining a current system is no longer seen as competitive. In addition, firms are finding the extra budget to enhance the delivery of legal services to ensure that they remain competitive and current.
The following initiatives are currently at the top of technology priorities for 2022:
- Transitioning to the cloud
- Automation technologies
- Client-facing tools
- Video conferencing
Some of the initiatives are driven by clients increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions for their organisations. However, there is an appetite to engage with new, emerging technologies to stay ahead of the competition and provide the highest level of service possible to the client.
Since the start of the pandemic, most law firms have made huge efforts to enable all members of staff to effectively and productively work from home, ensuring that the staff members were protected and their business did not simply come to an immediate halt. This has led to further enhancement, including automated client-facing tools and the need to improve video conferencing facilities for virtual meetings and hearings.
Whatever the focus, it is clear that a significant amount of funding is being set aside for technological improvements and advancements.