New research reveals that nearly 80% of legal organisations don’t have the right digital tools to properly do their jobs

Published 12/19/2016 by Advanced, Editor

UK legal industry cite security risks as main barrier to change

Almost 80% of legal firms don’t have the right digital tools in place to enable them to properly do their job. This finding was revealed from an extensive report of over 1000 UK professionals, including a large number of legal organisations. The independent research carried out by Advanced, the UK’s third largest software and services provider, also revealed that 71 percent of legal professionals stated that the risk around digital security affected their adoption of digital technology, a sharp increase compared with the 46 percent average in the general business community.

Commenting of the findings, Doug Hargrove, Managing Director – Legal, Advanced, said:

“We’re not surprised by these findings, given the huge security implications for legal firms. With large financial transactions and confidential, highly sensitive case information, the legal sector is vulnerable to hackers. These concerns will also be exacerbated by the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation, which brings in stricter controls in relation to security, privacy and the handling of data, and will have huge implications for all organisations.”

“Cyber resilience is a growing priority for all businesses, and the challenge now is to move from awareness to action. By making the right investments for their digital future and ensuring cyber security is a board level priority, pushed out into all areas of the practice, companies can slow down external threats, protect assets, and limit the removal, destruction or utilisation of data after the event of a successful breach.”

Advanced’s inaugural Trends Report 2016 surveyed over 1,000 professionals across the UK business community during October 2016. The survey aimed to identify the state of readiness amongst British businesses in the face of serious digital disruption, while highlighting the ingredients needed to compete and be successful in this era. As well as revealing serious gaps in preparing for a cyber attack, the survey also highlighted three key trends around the state of business readiness: economic, digital and customer.

The findings of the report also revealed a big focus on process automation to allow legal businesses to deliver more value-added (65%) service and the use of Business Intelligence (75%) – both big talking points in the sector. The quickening pace of technology, shifts in workforce demographics and the need to offer clients more value for money, mean that more than a third of jobs in the legal sector stand to be automated in the longer term. With automation of routine processes, changing client demands and the rise of millennials in the workplace, law firms will be required to demonstrate strategic value to differentiate themselves from their competitors to survive, something our report revealed this sector is acutely aware of.

The report also highlighted that the legal market seems divided between whether Brexit is an opportunity or a threat – especially interesting considering the noise around the amount of laws and statutes that need to be rewritten. Yet while 63 percent claimed to be well prepared or preparing for it, another 52 percent of respondents admitted that they are not ready for the accompanying budget cuts.

The Advanced 2016 inaugural Trends Report surveyed a total of 1,006 business professionals during September and October 2016. A full report outlining all findings is available on request/to download from the Advanced website: https://www.oneadvanced.com/trends.