This blog has been updated in May 2023 for the Modern Firm
Law firms face a wide range of challenges—especially when it comes to remaining agile throughout turbulent times. Not only are many firms struggling with talent shortages and economic uncertainty, but they are also facing increased pressure from clients. Expectations for seamless experiences grow every day, making it more challenging than ever for firms to guarantee them.
Although the legal industry is facing rapid technological change, many firms are still reluctant to embrace new technologies, instead relying on legacy systems and manual processes. However, firms that fail to adapt to new technologies will fail to acquire many of the transformative benefits others have acquired, like being able to handle meaningful data without taking time away from clients and automating mundane tasks.
ServiceNow helps law firm IT departments spend less time on manual tasks and more time developing solutions that improve client relationships. Innovation has a ripple effect throughout the firm, leading to better processes and higher client retention. Let’s look at the IT trends in the legal industry today, how ServiceNow is leveraging these trends, and how ServiceNow can help not only IT but the entire law firm.
Trends in the Legal Industry
Trends tell us a lot about the deep needs and best solutions in an industry. Here are three:
1. Law Firms have their sights set on digital transformation
The proportion of budgets spent on technology is set to increase drastically by 2025, with firms looking to the cloud, cybersecurity, and ServiceNow to automate workflows. In fact, Gartner predicts that 50 percent of legal work related to major corporate transactions will be automated by 2024.
2. With SaaS and mobile solutions ubiquitous in law firms, the cloud is becoming indispensable to IT departments.
According to a 2022 American Bar Association survey, cloud usage surged from 60 percent to 70 percent in just a year. This surge tells us that law firms are poised to make cloud computing their standard approach to tech.
3. Similarly, more and more firms are looking for solutions that not only improve their IT departments but also improve workflows throughout the enterprise.
For example, ServiceNow is known as an ITSM solution. But in 2023, firms are taking advantage of ServiceNow’s full Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solutions because of the platform’s success in automating IT workflows, reducing human error, and improving service.
How ServiceNow Leverages Trends to Improve Law Firms’ IT Operations
Poorly managed IT quickly leads to significant consequences throughout a firm, from inadequately implemented tools to operational inefficiency and high costs. With so much riding on accurate legal work, IT needs to be a reliable support system. Here’s how ServiceNow is leveraging the cloud, cybersecurity, and an integrated IT solution to help law firms’ IT operations reach their desired success rate:
The cloud can help automate workflows throughout the firm through solutions like ServiceNow and the Legal Secretarial Services application from Crossfuze. Cloud services can address common challenges such as the following:
- Inefficient email and spreadsheet-based tracking of secretarial requests from fee earners
- Lack of insight into service levels or KPIs
- Bottlenecks resulting from the manual assignment of requests to resources
With these cloud solutions, firms can save time and eliminate manual, ineffective intake and routing processes. They can also gain valuable insights into their inefficiencies and challenges, enabling them to improve more than ever before.
The truth is that law firms need dedicated solutions, and they need third-party vendors that can help protect them with built-in security features. As a comprehensive ITSM solution, ServiceNow has built-in security features that keep client and firm data secure. These features include high-security settings, certificates for establishing secure connections, login and authentication security, and web service security. Together, these features allow law firm IT teams to focus on keeping the firm running smoothly rather than on recovering data lost through security breaches.
How Improving IT Empowers Law Firms to Improve Their Whole Enterprise
Firms typically implement ServiceNow in their IT department first. For example, one midsize law firm invested in the rapid development of ServiceNow ITSM to keep up with its competition. Many of its competitors were already using the tool, and the firm knew it needed efficient and quick implementation in order to compete with them. So that’s just what it did: Utilizing a 90-day guaranteed go-live offering, the firm launched ITSM in just months.
After initial implementation, firms are able to automate many redundant tasks, which allows IT teams to spend more time improving automation in other areas of the firm. Paralegals and legal assistants can then spend more time on casework. This positive ripple effect is often what gives partners the confidence to expand ServiceNow to other areas of the firm.
When law firms expand ServiceNow beyond IT, they experience this chain of events: ServiceNow allows employees to spend more time on casework than on manual tasks or dealing with technology-related questions or issues. This leads to more billable hours and faster turnaround time, which in turn leads to happier clients. Clients can even benefit directly: ServiceNow allows firms to build client portals through which clients can access their case information, see the case status, request counsel, and communicate with their legal team. This automation helps firms create a tighter engagement with the client.
ServiceNow helps law firms’ staff remove barriers of inefficiency that can present a risk to any legal matter and, ultimately, to the client experience and employee morale. With ServiceNow, IT can manage workflows and processes within one platform and modernize operations. By knowing the IT trends in the legal industry and what integrated capabilities ServiceNow offers, firms can leave many tasks to automation and focus on what matters most: their clients.
Reach out to us at LetsTalk@crossfuze.com to learn more about how Crossfuze can help law firms increase efficiency by creating a mature IT department.