Smartphones have changed the way in which practically every professional services person interacts with the world, setting us free to do what we want any old time. Here Tikit’s Andrea Foot contemplates the difference that easy connectivity makes, and notes that legal sector technology is raising its game to keep up.
If there’s one thing I’m hearing as I talk with law firms, whether to techies or professional staff, it’s the compelling need to let lawyers and their clients work wherever and whenever they need to. This comes about because these days we all have a machine in our hands that connects us to the world with ease.
And as much as we can customise and upload pictures of a grumpy cat, watch the dog on pet-cam and buy refills for our Nespresso online, we now expect to get access to our working world in the same unthinking way. Specifically without the corporate difficulties that ‘old’ technologies threw in our paths. Do you remember the old drill: putting in a dongle, logging in, having to actually think about what you’re doing? Once that pain goes away, other barriers come down. Where are you reading this – at your desk, on the train or maybe catching up on stuff at home?
This change comes hand in hand with the stellar performance of consumer devices. And here is where I get to invoke the world’s worst word – prosumerism. This is the phenomenon of consumers getting to use hardware and software that is – get this – better than what they get given to use at work.
Now that didn’t use to be the case. Back in the day the kit they gave you at work was always going to be more robust, slicker and smarter than what you could get hold of for the home. That changed. And with it, prosumer devices took the hassle out of doing computery things. The net effect is that increasingly the demarcation line between work and not-work has melted away.
The trouble with corporate technology
In this regard, the legal sector – like many others – faces a steep test. Consumer hardware and software have really raised the bar. Corporate technology, by comparison, can still be a bit awkward. It needs to be learned. It requires effort. We’ve become accustomed to loads of fun apps that we just download and use without a second thought. And here’s the thing – if it needs a second thought we will drop that funky, but slightly tiresome, app just as quickly.
That makes for a challenging time of change then. Corporate tech still has serious stuff to deliver. It needs to make sure that information is secure and that the right person is consuming it. But it does still have to compete with the consumer stuff that’s so intuitive, so hassle-free and useable.
With this in mind Tikit is on the case, looking for ways to help law firms meet the changing ways of working of their legal teams. A case in point is our work on refining ways to help firms build electronic matter files and then ensuring these can be got at on the fly by you or your clients, securely.
We’re doing this by combining our technology with partner solutions and bringing it to life with expertise gained over the years of working with practices. We’re also taking inspiration from the way consumer apps look and function to help us build software that is as effortless as it needs to be.
We’re determined to help law firms navigate the path of building the mobility and usability that professional service firms need. So do let me know if you want to have a conversation about what we’re doing. You’re free to have a look at what we’re up to, to see if it lets you do what you want, any old time…
*with respect and apologies to The Soup Dragons
By Andrea Foot, General Manager at Tikit Australia
Connect with Andrea on Linkedin here.
Follow Andrea on Twitter here.