A RECENT survey has shown that more than half of the legal profession is reluctant to adopt new technology and digital tools due to concerns with data sovereignty and data privacy in the cloud.
According to findings by searching technology specialist InfoTrack and legal systems company InPlace Solutions, 60 per cent of firm managers believe lawyer resistance is the biggest hurdle to jump when it comes to the adoption of new digital services and productivity tools.
InfoTrack chief executive John Ahern says while cloud data security is a legitimate concern, it can be overcome easily if due care is taken and the right regulations are adhered to.
"Firms need to ensure that their data and information is held in Australia so it is protected by the Australian regulatory framework and not exposed to those in other jurisdictions, some of which have far more stringent powers than we have in Australia," says Ahern.
Further stats from the survey reveal that 30 per cent of firms admitted to lacking a technology platform that is incapable of meeting growing demands, yet many of the lawyers within those firms still continue to kickback against system updates.
"All firms will be able to tell you about IT projects that have ultimately failed to meet expectations because lawyers, whatever the reason, fail to use the tools they have been provided with," says John Duckett, director of InPlace solutions.
Despite a relative lack of technological savvy within the industry as a whole, more than 90 per cent of firms realise their clients' needs are growing, particularly in the fields of mobile work and real-time integration of data.
In response, 90 per cent of respondents also indicated they are prepared to match the demand with a greater investment in technology.
Ahern says the technology juggernaut will continue to redefine the profession in the coming years, and anyone who doesn't ride the wave will quickly start to sink.
"Firms that embrace the technology and tools that enable them to deliver a better service more cost efficiently will prosper," says Ahern.
"Those that don't probably won't survive to tell the tale."
InfoTrack and InPlace Solutions say the top priority and challenge for lawyers in the year ahead will be to find ways of making their businesses more efficient.
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