We’ll give you a glimpse into the future and what’s big for businesses over the next 365 according to ILTACON—no DeLorean needed.
Last month we had the privilege to attend ILTACON, the International Legal Technology Association’s 40th annual conference in Las Vegas. We networked, we sat in on high-powered keynotes and absorbed everything we could in the hundreds of peer-provided educational sessions. With all of the great information we learned, we want to share a look into the future with 3 things your business will likely wrestle with over the next trip around the sun.
1. AI is Indefinable
A hot-button, trending topic in the world today is AI—and it was no different at ILTACON. The general consensus was there is both an uncertainty and excitement surrounding the concept of “Artificial Intelligence.” Shawna Hoffman, IBM Global Cognitive Co-Leader discussed AI in great depth. She noted the concept of AI having no reliable definition and the numerous ways a system can be dubbed “intelligent.” According to IBM, the true potential of AI—at least for the moment—lies in augmenting and enhancing human-centric processes, not replacing them with autonomous systems—a view we very much agree with.
AI seems to have limitless potential, which makes it incredibly appealing to the tech world. And while AI's ability differs between vendors and the quality of the technology, at its core, its promise is to process data with human-like accuracy. The overarching theme was that AI will indubitably enhance the workflow from practice management to eDiscovery and with it, the sky’s the limit. The “how” and "when" of it all still remains in question.
2. The Cloud (Still) Reigns Supreme
Sure, we’ve used the cloud for search-based solutions for half a decade and know its benefits quite well, but only now is it a seemingly emerging trend in the legal profession. If a practice isn’t yet managing on the cloud, it’s likely missing out on key benefits and features.
At ILTACON, we found that there are still a lot of practices storing documents, data and more on local datacenters. Case management with a server-based system is not only archaic, but cumbersome and difficult to navigate. Most professionals we spoke to agreed that cloud-based tools can afford them the flexibility they’re searching for and allows them the ability to leverage additional applications, making unification easier.
Conference attendees talked about the importance of visibility into their data for compliance, records retention and security to be critical. Unifying applications providing practices with this data simplify the process, making it quicker and easier to see the data that needs to be seen.
Still, the leading benefit in the cloud is remote data hosting and processing. This differentiator for law firms requires less human capital and raises zero data retention issues, making it something every practice should invest in.
3. Everyone’s Looking for a Smarter Way
If you’re a business owner of any kind, two of your goals are undoubtedly to increase efficiency and save money—and it was no different at ILTACON. Nearly all attendees had the underlying objective of changing things for the better in their practice, which meant finding a way to make their day-to-day easier all while cutting down on processing costs.
One of the biggest gripes attendees had was their contract management systems. Ideally, they are searching for a one stop shop for drafting, assembling and searching for elements of contracts within a data room. They want a smarter way to integrate technology and use a platform that has the ability to provide a seamless user experience that not only excels in budgeting project management and using metrics to gauge performance.