2021 is a remarkable time to write a “predictions” piece. After all, we’re looking back at one of the most unusual years of our lifetime, continuing to face many of the challenges brought forth last year and grappling with a renewed understanding that well, we just don’t ever really know what the future holds.
That said, there is an unstoppable momentum, for which 2020 has emphasized the need and therefore accelerated change. In this post, we’ll showcase three of the most important challenges and the solutions that are driving the industry forward this year.
Economic uncertainties brought on by the ongoing pandemic have many organizations running lean and looking for additional opportunities to do more with less. For corporate legal departments, this means establishing and enforcing guidelines for outside counsel in order to gain predictability in legal spend and avoid other surprises. In order to accomplish this, many companies are leveraging analytics in order to gain better visibility into their legal spend and performance of outside counsel firms. As Dan Hauck, chief product officer, NetDocuments said in Law.com’s article on 2021 predictions, “Analytics will be for everyone next year. New tools will make it easier to measure your personal productivity, spot trends, and identify areas of improvement—without the need for a manager to collect the data and call it out. Analytics are in demand because of technology advancement, user delight and demand. … Better ways of collecting and accessing this data are now readily available, so it’s possible to programmatically generate individual reports at scale that used to happen only at a department/team level.”
The legal industry has long been known as slow to adopt new technology, but times are changing. As remote work continues and teams are pressured to achieve great levels of efficiency and performance measurement, technology can no longer be viewed as a “nice to have.” The Law.Com piece mentioned above, said that 2020 “will likely be remembered more as the Year of Adoption than the Year of Innovation. COVID-19 accelerated the use of collaboration tools, cloud technologies, video conferencing platforms and more to unforeseen heights.” This shift toward rapid adoption will continue for years to come. According to Gartner, legal departments will increase their spend on legal technology threefold by 2025.
With greater use of data and technology comes more cybersecurity risk. As sensitive data continues to flow between companies and firms, the legal industry will remain a lucrative target for data breaches. Attacks will continue to increase in scale and sophistication. Therefore, corporations and their law firms will need to leverage the latest security processes and standards to keep data safe.
While we can’t predict exactly what 2021 has in store for legal tech, the industry is in a fortunate position to leverage innovations that have become available over the past few years to work as informed, safe, and efficiently as possible.
Have questions or would like to learn more about how Quovant can help your legal team prepare for 2021’s demands? Contact us today.