Lawtech Survey Results and Overview

The Chilli IQ Lawtech Summit 2017 was recently held this year again at the Peppers Resort in Noosa .  The key themes were very topical, including automated client services, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and last but certainly not least, cyber security.

This year NextLegal and Chilli IQ conducted an online survey across the firms involved.  This survey explored some of the key technology trends impacting on law firms and the technology teams that support them.


Client-facing capabilities

Clearly evident in the survey responses and comments provided by firms, IT capability and the focus of IT teams is rapidly shifting to become much more client-focused.  The larger firms surveyed (with more than 500 total staff) reported that around 40% of their total IT initiatives were now client-facing.

This trend has been evident for some time, with a previous NextLegal article ‘A lack of legal technology harder to hide‘ covering this exact topic in mid-2016.  Almost 20% of firms surveyed reported ‘Online Client Services’ to be within their top IT priorities for the year ahead.


Cloud services

Another trend which was apparent in the results is the adoption of cloud.  It was not so long ago that firms were hesitant in their adoption of cloud, yet now only 24% of firms stated that ‘on-site’ systems are their first preference.

Larger firms were leading the push toward cloud.  These firms reported that almost 50% of their systems were today run in a cloud-hosted environment.  Smaller firms (less than 100 staff) however, reported that just under 35% of their systems were running in a cloud-based / hosted environment.

Interestingly 76% of firms reported an increase in the number of systems they were using today (compared to 3 years ago).  Likely as a result of a push toward lower-cost cloud-based systems, only 52% of firms had increased their IT spend over the same period.


Cyber security

Cyber security is becoming increasingly topical, with reported ransom-ware and other attacks on the rise.  One cyber security-focused speaker noted that for professional services firms in Australia, the average time to detect a data breach event is well over 500 days.

Cyber security is a significant challenge for law firms, particularly given that less than 15% of firms with fewer than 500 staff in total, reported employing someone that focused purely on information security.

The survey shows that 40% of larger firms (500 staff or more) employ a dedicated security resource.  This disparity in internal resourcing, highlights the importance of engaging managed security providers or well-equipped IT service / cloud providers such as Sentrian Legal, who are able to invest in the dedicated expertise required in staying up-to-date with modern internet-based threats.

You can view and download the full survey responses here: http://nextlegal.com.au/lawtechsurvey2017


Other resources

Andrea Foot recorded a very interesting and funny short video summary here: https://vimeo.com/233770454/a327912331

The Legal Forecast (speakers at the Lawtech event) provided a well-rounded conference overview here http://thelegalforecast.com/lawtech-summit-awards/

More information on the Chilli IQ Lawtech Summit can be found here: https://www.lawtechsummit.com.au/



About the Author

Steven provides law firms with IT strategy and direction. He is passionate about assisting firms to extract more from their technology investments and discovering technology enabled opportunities. Steven presents regularly in the legal sector and contributed to the George Beaton e-book, NewLaw New Rules. He formed NextLegal in 2014 to provide law firms with greater technology insight, advice and capability.