Become a digital-first business or lose ground

Given the expertise and experience of Quiss in the legal sector it was hardly surprising that Osprey Approach, providers of the renowned all-in-one legal accounting, practice and case management software should seek our opinion, when shaping their product for the future.

When developing their cloud-based legal software, it’s critical to identify and resolve the persona of the intended users, much like we do when we tailor our managed IT services to each of our more than 40 law firm clients.

The first step in creating a product or service that is attractive to those in the legal sector, who typically need to operate at peak efficiency and productivity if increased profitability is to be realised, is to recognise the importance of a ’digital-first mindset’.

What we mean by a digital-first mindset is about using technology to put the customer first and create a customer-centric culture. It means constantly looking to improve the user experience and ensuring that customer needs, guide every decision made, rather than following the easiest route.

Digital-first means approaching any new challenge or opportunity with the assumption that the solution should be as digital as possible. This approach ensures businesses that adopt a digital-first mindset can stay ahead of the curve and can capitalise on the latest technologies.

Using the appropriate technology allows firms to deliver a highly personalised experience, like using digital meeting technology, such as Teams to engage more fully with clients. Technology also allows lawyers to communicate, connect and collaborate more effectively, with clients and colleagues.

And of course, given the degree to which law firms have become the favourite target of cyber-criminals, technology and cloud-based technology in particular allows even small law firms to improve their security, even when adopting a hybrid working model.

Digital-first is the solution you didn’t know you needed

The digital-first approach delivers a host of benefits for small to mid-market law firms, including, operational efficiencies, the development of new services, the ability to scale up or down quickly to reflect clients’ needs and engaging better with those clients.

This mindset also helps project the image of a modern, vibrant firm, connected to clients and comfortable with hybrid working, to help address the recruitment challenge, which in turn can help address the challenge of doing more with less.

For law firms to become digital-first in their approach, the leadership must take ownership and quickly understand the relationship that exists between the technology and their commercial expectations. They must use and understand their data more effectively.

Although many firms will claim they put the customer first, they have to ask themselves whether that is just clever marketing language or have they truly developed a customer-centric business.

To implement a digital-first operational strategy, it’s not just about the technology or the digital tools you invest in, but the people using them. To help increase the utilisation of technology and change existing habits, training is critical and must be continual to help form new habits.

Importantly and often overlooked is the need to inform everyone within the business why this investment is happening, why a digital-first mindset is critical to the future success of the business and the role they play in driving change.

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