By John Ahern, CEO, InfoTrack
This isn’t a surprise as legal practitioners have generally been late adopters and tend to be averse to risk. But as the digital disruption of the industry continues this type of resistance can seriously hinder a firm’s development and growth.
New technology is having a significant impact on the legal landscape and changing the way legal work has been done for centuries. With the rapid pace of change, firms that struggle to implement and adopt technology will quickly fall behind their peers.
So how can you help your practice embrace new technology?
Get people engaged
Getting people involved from the beginning is important. You want your employees to feel that they had a part in shaping your firm’s technological future and not that the new technology is something being imposed on them. Show them the options, let them do some of their own research if they want and encourage questions and debate. Engagement in this form will make them feel invested in the firm’s future and more appreciative of the benefits of technology. Communicating change is also key to engagement – update and talk to your employees regularly via email, intranet or meetings so they are in the loop.
Just as important as the technology itself is the team behind it. Make sure whichever technology you choose has a reliable support team in place. Does the company have an implementation and training plan? Are there any hidden costs? What kind of support system do they have in place? Is it based in-house locally or outsourced internationally? What kind of hours do they operate? There’s always an adjustment period when adapting to new tech and having the right support to help with the transition is key.
Opt for integrated technology
Choose technology that can be integrated with your existing systems. The more integrated the new technology is the easier it will be for your employees to adopt and adjust to. True integration enables different technologies to speak to each other and easily share information across platforms, creating a better user experience for your firm and allowing for a more seamless transition to new processes.
Understand and address any worries
Technology can create fear – fear that jobs will be replaced, hours will be reduced, etc. It’s important to be completely transparent – make sure your employees know why you’re getting the new technology, how it will change processes and most importantly be clear about the benefits. The more employees understand the value of the change, the easier it will be for them to embrace it. Let them know all the ways the technology will allow them to do a more efficient job and save time.
Have a dedicated team
Any change needs leaders to spearhead it. Make sure you choose some key players within your business to take the lead. Having in-house experts can help put people at ease and make new technology seem more manageable.
Build some excitement
Enthusiasm is contagious and when leaders show excitement and dedication to new technology it helps filter that throughout the business. Organise a launch, have a few hours set aside to let people play around with the new technology and ask any questions. Encourage people to experiment and make use of any additional training or support options.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve implementation and adoption of new technology in your firm. Remember, a big contributor to resistance to change is the fear of the unknown – so the more transparent you can be and the more you can educate and reassure your employees, the better.
About our Guest Blogger
John joined InfoTrack in 2015 as the Chief Technology Officer taking charge for establishing the company’s technical vision and leading on all aspects of InfoTrack’s technology development. John was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer in May of 2015 where he is now responsible for maintaining the extensive growth of InfoTrack in the Australian market.
John has over 20 years' experience in the Information Sector, having worked in a number of engineering, sales and executive positions. With a strong technical background, he has vast experience in designing and developing products and has delivered platforms from inception to production.