The top law firms in Australia are undergoing a quiet digital transformation as they face mounting global competition and digital disruption. Technology leaders from these law firms stated that online collaboration is their top priority in 2014.
Law firms overseas who are attempting to use big data tools in order to disrupt the top firms in Australia do not see an immediate threat from legal services. In fact, they believe these tools actually help enhance face-to face collaboration to determine client satisfaction and competitive differentiation.
Dean McDonald, Ashurst Australian Head of Information Technology, said the company worked with Samsung to boost the effectiveness of its meeting spaces across the globe. He also mentioned that the company is now working on a social collaboration project with Microsoft’s Yammer.
“With the way we are working with our social media, we are pushing it out to have global collaboration. We are very conscious of the fact that these are hosted solutions, so we don’t put client data on it. But they do help with collaboration across time and geographic boundaries”, says Dean McDonald.
The main focus of in-person collaboration that is enhanced by technology is, to provide opportunity for new business models, such as app-based collaborations for the firms. An example would be Minter Ellison’s new BoardTRAC iPad board portal that was developed in conjunction with an Australian software firm. This app allows lawyers to share and annotate documents securely while having a meeting.
Meanwhile, Gerard Neiditsch, Allens Director Information Technology, noted that there was a clear focus on the communication part of ICT in the Australian Legal industry. This is a clear difference to other industries where the top priority is big data.
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About the Author: James Vickery is the founder and CEO of I Know IT, a transformative IT services provider. James connects law leaders to their strategy through technology with a firm belief that lawyers must re-enter their profession as innovators, thinking and acting as technology companies do in order to survive, compete and prosper in a digital economy.
James enables this new way of thinking and executing through consulting, coaching and delivery of technology solutions to Australian and international organisations. More from this author.