The status quo bias: Tech as a corollary to having an inclusive, diverse, and equal work organization
The status quo bias: Tech as a corollary to having an inclusive, diverse, and equal work organization

While 2020 turned out to be a year of lull like none of us expected, it comes without any precursor that 2021 will be a year of innovation, organization, technological advancement, and holistic solutions for overall operations.

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Are you an early adopter of technology? Have you decided on how much to innovate going forward? Does the technology implementation measure up? There is so much more to ponder on as we look forward to the year ahead. In what also turns out to be the beginning of the next decade, 2021 will be a milestone year-on- in terms of innovation, scaling up, exploring new possibilities, and having a culture where people and talent thrive alongside technology that matters. Here's a low-down on what we think the coming years will witness as far as integrating emerging technology into real-life solutions for law firms or lawyers in general.

Planning for contingencies and unforeseen events to be at the very DNA:

In what has transpired for the profession in the year, COVID has had a reverberating effect on the industry. Disruption in the legal sector, impacting services and operations, has caused hardships and concern to all. Of course, there are unforeseen threats, including cybersecurity, ransomware attacks, and phishing, that threaten lawyers' financial and reputation. Identification, upgradation, and assessments of other risks ( in the same order) involve people and processes as we move forward to the next decade.

Diversity, equality, and inclusion to get increased focus:

Law firms have been promoting diversity and inclusion across all aspects of practice. If the #metoo movement has increased awareness of gender equality policies at work, diversity and inclusion of talent will touch upon law practice areas. In a recent article published by the ABA Journal:
“The business case for diversity has already been made, proved by every study done on the subject, including seminal research by McKinsey & Co. that shows the correlation between ethnic and cultural diversity and profitability. Similarly, a study by market research house Acritas found that law firms with “very diverse teams” received a 25% greater share of legal spending than nondiverse teams.”

Client experience and value-added services to get an impetus:

With law firms have made a quick shift to working remotely, the future of workplaces will be defined by hybrid work, remote work, or even hot- seats. Client satisfaction is going to be pivotal here. A slight hiccup can send them to dozens of competitors, who can now be identified at a click of a button; there is no doubt that legal services is at an inflection point. In summing up, strategic marketeer Angela Long believes that-
the law firm of the future leverages technology that eliminates barriers to being responsive and productive, maximizes internal efficiencies that drive client satisfaction, and weathers unforeseen challenges with relative ease from an operational perspective.

Emerging technology for targeted services:

Planning and budgeting will necessarily include setting aside funds for emerging technology, cybersecurity, disaster preparedness, and business continuity. Investing in technology, deriving the value of frontline workers-whether attorneys, IT engineers will keep organizations healthy and defend themselves in times of uncertainty and disaster.

Whether it is about collaborating with teams remotely, or in a hybrid work atmosphere, the role of the Corporate General Counsel is ever-evolving. from what it was “a cost centre to a revenue generator”.

Not to sound over-strident, legal services today is all awash with technology. From block-chain-enabled contracts, tools for better collaboration, or efficient management of lawyers and resources, technology solutions pave way for a diverse, equal and inclusive work atmosphere. Our previous issue underlined these aspects: The first step is for the organization to be convinced that legal requires technology. Secondly, tight budgets, resistance to change, and poor integration with the software are the problems most organizations face. With a gamut available today as far as technology for legal functions are concerned, long-time assumptions and ignorance may well be done away with by deployment of tools for a better and a more integrated work atmosphere.