BLOG: When it comes to introducing new technology, time and time again law firms make the same mistake.
A managing partner decides the firm needs an improvement and goes straight to software providers for a solution. Before long the firm is caught in an endless beauty parade of suppliers. There are too many options and not enough time to make a decision. To complete the vicious cycle, the firm ends up with the wrong software, causing more problems than it solves, which needs to be replaced months later.
To avoid making this mistake law firms need to start from a different place. Before contacting a software sales rep, managing partners should know the answers to these three questions:
- What is the commercial reason for your decision?
Consider the firm’s overarching strategy and why the firm needs a change. Factor in the potential short-term losses’ vs the longer-term return on investment.
- What are the firm’s specific requirements?
Consider the firm’s specific problem. Invest time into mapping the steps to solve the problem. It might be that the firm doesn’t need to invest in software after all.
- How will people engage with the technology?
If the firm is going to install new software it must make people’s jobs easier, rather than becoming an administrative burden which slows people down. The software must also be easy to use and understand. If it’s too complex then too much time and money is spent on training employees.
The firms that first follow these steps find technology solutions to complement their work, to make them more efficient. The firms that rush into a software sales pitch generally end up with an expensive, burdensome piece of technology that is never fully utilised to deliver the benefits, or returns desired.
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