News & Insights
Opinion6th July 2018
Disrupting Justice: How Technology is Transfoming the Legal Sector.
The BIG Brexit Opportunity!
The Irish legal sector has been experiencing continued growth over the past few years, with this growth expected to continue. Post-Brexit, Ireland will be the only English-speaking common law jurisdiction fully integrated into the European legal order. The triggering of Article 50 has given Ireland an opportunity to position itself as the global centre for legal services post-Brexit. This continuous growth has also brought about challenges for the industry, with firms expecting technology to have the most impact in the sector over the next five years. ActionPoint has been working with Ireland’s leading law firms to help them take advantage of this growth and embrace the challenges they face in an ever-changing environment.
The Irish legal sector has been valued at €2.3bn in 2017, with further growth of 3.6% predicted. Some larger UK law firms, such as Simmons & Simmons, have opened Irish offices since the Brexit vote. Lawyers registered in Ireland retain access to European Courts of Justice, EU tribunals and other EU legal institutions.
While the potential for growth within the sector is clear, it is technology that is providing the most positive opportunities for Irish legal firms. Advancements in productivity tools and back-office technology can enable firms to provide enhanced results to clients, with greater efficiency. Machine learning is another trend we have noticed, with firms using technology to minimise paper and manual work. Deloitte has predicted that over 100,000 jobs can be automated within the industry in the next 20 years.
Embracing the Cloud
After a prolonged industry hesitation, cloud computing has become a necessity for legal firms, with a requirement to store and process large amounts of data. Cloud computing helps firms reduce the costs of onsite servers and infrastructure, and the cost of managing large swathes of data has decreased significantly.
ActionPoint is a leading provider of cloud computing services, with 70% of our clients using Microsoft Azure. Azure combines infrastructure, platform and management services. Azure has a commitment to the security, data privacy, trust of each organisation and a mission to empower them to achieve more. This is at the forefront of ActionPoint’s decision to choose Azure. Azure can enable Irish legal firms to provide better quality customer service, save resources and provide new business opportunities for the company. For more about Microsoft Azure services, catch this piece by Finian Nally.
Cybersecurity has been the main concern for clients of ActionPoint, a trend that has been echoed in the global legal sector. Considering the large amounts of classified and sensitive data possessed by legal firms, cybersecurity needs to be a top priority. However, in 2017, 70% of firms regarded it as their major challenge and a key technology issue according to research published by Amarach. The report also stated that Cyber-attacks increased from 38% to 62% in 2016, despite only 35% of law firms having a plan in place in the event of an attack. Combine this sensitive personal information with the lack of technological innovation in most Irish law firms, a potential attack could be very damaging for the firm. While previously law firms did not have to disclose any data breaches, compliance with GDPR is mandatory for the legal sector. A proactive approach will be much more advisable than a reactive approach. It will also be a much more cost-effective one.
Dynamic, Secure, Resilient
Legal practices we have worked with have credited us with enabling them to be more secure and resilient as they look to future-proof their firms. In the legal sector, there are strict rules and regulations to be abided by. When working with legal firms, it is extremely important to us that all work is carried out to the highest standards and compliant with the best codes of practice. At ActionPoint, our mission is to enable companies to achieve their greatest potential using the power of technology.
Our approach usually starts with an IT audit to get a better feel for your environment. After the audit, we create a report and IT plan. Legal firms have benefitted from our experience and expertise with Dell servers and hardware. We are a Dell Platinum Partner and twice Dell Partner of the year, 2014 and 2016. This focus on excellence within the Dell EMC technology stack has enabled us to provide the critical core infrastructure and backups needed to power busy law firms. When it comes to IT support, our Enterprise Support Desk (ESD) facility provides a senior skillset and a reassuring escalation path for your busy IT Manager.
The only constant is change… or be left behind.
In an ever-changing environment, legal firms are starting to become aware of the opportunities and risks that technology is providing within the sector. Firms must now ask themselves the question “are we prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that a more buoyant marketplace presents?” Digital transformation can be achieved in four levels; engaging customers, empowering employees, optimising operations and eventually transforming the business. Navigating through these steps can prove difficult for legal firms without the assistance of an experienced IT partner. With a proven track record in the sector, ActionPoint is in a prime position “to transform your legal firm using the power of technology.”
If you’d like to kickstart your journey toward digital transformation, then speak to us today.