Wolters Kluwer asked more than 700 attorneys to tell them which challenges they thought were most likely to impact their law firms in the future. The number one answer? “Coping with the increased volume and complexity of information.” With all the rapid technological changes facing law firms, they need a way to handle this data without taking crucial time away from work that directly involves clients. The more time firms spend with clients, the less risk of losing them.
ServiceNow helps law firm IT departments spend less time on manual tasks and more time on helping the firm run smoothly. This ability to prioritize has a ripple effect on the whole firm, leading to better 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 just IT, but the entire law firm.
Trends can tell us a lot about the deep needs and best solutions in an industry. In legal IT, some trends include the Cloud, cybersecurity, and integrated cloud solutions like ServiceNow. These trends all stem from the same place: the need to automate workflows so employees don't have to spend as much time dealing with IT issues or requests.
With SaaS and mobile solutions ubiquitous in law firms, the Cloud is becoming indispensable to IT departments. The “Legal Technology Survey Report” by the American Bar Association (ABA) found that 58 percent of respondents were using cloud computing to complete tasks at work as of October 2019. The same survey found that 50 percent of respondents were concerned about “confidentiality/security” with the Cloud, up from 47 percent in 2018.
Why were they more concerned about security? In another 2019 ABA survey, this one about technology in the legal industry, 26 percent of respondents said their firm had experienced some sort of security breach. But the truth is that security breaches happen, whether employees know about the attacks or not.
ServiceNow is known as an ITSM solution. But in 2020, more and more firms are taking advantage of ServiceNow in other areas of the law firm as well, because of its success in automating IT workflow, reducing human error and, therefore, security breaches.
How ServiceNow Leverages 2020 Trends to Improve Law Firms’ IT Operations
In retail, executives accept that only one in ten projects will likely succeed, according to an interview with Matt Peers, CIO of global law firm Linklaters. But in the legal sector? Executives demand a 100 percent success rate.
With so much riding on law firm work, IT has 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 that 100 percent success rate:
The Cloud can help automate workflows throughout the firm through solutions like ServiceNow. Cloud services can be used for resolving IT issues, managing and delivering IT services, and consolidating all IT-related services and functions in one place. The Cloud automates manual work so IT employees can focus on the areas where their talents are most helpful.
Law firms need dedicated security solutions, but they also need their third-party vendors to have 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. Altogether, 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 Ripples Out to Improve the Whole Law Firm
Law firms typically implement ServiceNow starting in their IT department. They automate the IT team’s low-value work, which allows IT employees to spend more time improving automation in other areas of the firm. Employees in other areas of the firm can then spend more time on casework. This positive ripple effect is often what gives decision-makers 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 leads in turn 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.
For example, global law firm Latham and Watkins started using ServiceNow in IT, but “it quickly expanded to a platform delivering services ranging from document services, financial information, and library reference requests to facilities and business development support.” ServiceNow helped the firm remove disparate systems and streamline and consolidate legacy systems so their employees all over the world could better serve their clients. They also used the platform to justify the time spent on various tasks conducted by employees. Visibility into where time is being spent allows the firm to further streamline operations and improve workflow efficiency.
ServiceNow helps law firms’ staff remove barriers of inefficiency that present a risk to the client experience—as well as employee morale. Less time spent on low-value work—and IT being able to manage workflows and processes within one platform—enables IT to modernize operations. With exciting IT trends in the legal industry today and the integrated capabilities ServiceNow offers, law firms can leave many tasks to automation and focus on what matters most: their clients.
Learn how Crossfuze can help law firms increase efficiency by creating a mature IT department.