by Gabe Damiani
I attended my very first ILTACON back in August 2005 in Phoenix, AZ. I can remember trying to escape the 110-degree heat walking into my very first session. My goal for being at this year’s conference hasn’t changed since then: I still seek to understand better business and technology trends in the legal industry and how iVision could be a better technology services partner.
Here at iVision, we’ve been more than fortunate to be able to work with some of the finest AMLAW 100 firms in the country. The complexities and security challenges these organizations face have allowed us to bring revolutionary solutions to many other verticals and industries. That’s why we were so thrilled to take part in another successful year of the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference, ILTACON 2018, in the much more temperate Washington, DC.
Comparing Technology Trends of 2005 with today…
A lot has changed in 13 years, and this year we continue to see a huge shift in the way this industry leverages technology. Before we dive into what we learned at this year’s conference, let’s look at what has changed over the last 13 years:
Technology Trends for 2018
Overall there is a tremendous shift that continues in the legal technology industry as firms shift away from legacy IT department operating models to a new era. As we’ve covered in recent blogs and videos, Disaster Recovery and business resilience are at the forefront of the minds of today’s top legal CIOs but that’s just one small piece of the puzzle. Let’s look at what we learned this year at ILTACON for each of the areas above and distill it down to the “bottom-line” for 2018:
Users are more educated than ever and have high demands and expectations. The world has shifted from working primarily on computers to mobile devices. Users have become accustomed to accessing information from anywhere and at any time in their personal lives and are expecting the same sort of effortless accessibility for their work materials. Additionally, the world is exploding with a whole new universe of connected devices for us to interact with. These devices are connected to the internet, and everything is emerging as a “connected” device (i.e., IoT). Additionally, the rise of social media continues to shape opinions and influence their personal and professional lives.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need to work to securely connect attorneys to both their work and personal lives using their mobile devices. Additionally, businesses must be cognizant of the impact of social media on their firms. Click To Tweet
Telecommunications costs are very high for firms today and this industry is dramatically changing. Telecommunications (WAN and Internet connectivity costs) expenses are typically one of the top 3 line items for an annual technology budget. By leveraging better pricing with telecommunications providers and new solutions (i.e., SD-WAN, UCaaS, etc.) firms can enjoy upwards of 30% annual savings and provide better connectivity for their users.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need to evaluate newer network technologies (i.e., SD-WAN and UCaaS) to improve service, dramatically reduce their telecommunication expenses, and improve the user experience. Click To Tweet
The cloud has changed everything! Firms must develop a clear cloud strategy that works within their specific technology budget. The rise of public cloud services purpose-built for business has been shifting firms to look at moving critical services like document management, email, and E-Discovery from a private to a public cloud model. Legal IT departments have had challenges with a formulating a clear strategy that allows them to leverage the cloud that aligns with their security and financial expectations.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need to evaluate cloud services and have a cloud strategy that realigns their focus to practice innovation, improves their security posture, and works within their firm's annual technology budget spend. Click To Tweet
The use of AI and machine learning can help automate repetitive tasks in document production, billing, and pricing – predicting successes in key areas of the business and enhancing E-Discovery services. Firms will consume traditional software and more advanced applications services such as an AI through subscription-based models. What began as a consumer-based trend has fully shifted to business-focused clouds that offer better security, scale, and agility.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need to have a focus on leveraging AI technologies to improve efficiencies for their firms. They also need to have a more robust vendor management capability to manage the shift to subscription-based consumption… Click To Tweet
Leveraging SOC-as-a-Service to build out a robust security operations model can help firms keep pace with client security demands and help secure their information whether it runs in their private (data center) or public (o365, Azure, etc.). The sheer number of devices with their varied levels of vulnerabilities creates easy targets for hackers. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, clients are becoming more demanding of their law firms regarding the extent and level of security being provided for their data.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need not build Security Operations Centers internally. Leveraging a “SOC-as-a-Service” with the right mix of internal security staff focused on managing your ISMS is key. Click To Tweet
Closely related to the evolution of the cloud, managed services comprise a family of products that IT departments can draw on to either replace or supplement those functions that they feel can be provided more reliably and economically than in-house operations. Managed services delivered via subscription, software as a service (SaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) models allow customers to add or remove resources as needed. As organizations move toward utilizing more managed services, the cost focus shifts away from capital expenditures to operating expenses.#ILTACON18 Insight: Legal IT departments need to shift their focus to practice innovation and leverage more managed services for business operations areas such as cloud management, network management, and security management (BaaS, DRaaS,… Click To Tweet
It has been a great journey with our legal clients over the last 15 years. The one thing that hasn’t changed is iVision’s desire to engineer solutions that earn clients for life. Technology trends will continue to change, and our role as a service provider is changing too, but the reasons our clients continue to work with us remains the same: they see a value in our long-term horizon focus and our unrelenting approach evolves our business to better service our clients.
I want to say a special thanks to our legal industry customers for believing in iVision from the very beginning and working with us over the years. You have invested in our partnership over the years, and we look forward to navigating the waters ahead of us together!
What were your favorite parts of ILTACON 2018? Is there something you’d like us to cover next year? Leave us a comment and let us know!