Individuals, businesses and firms alike are still getting used to embracing the digital upskilling, especially when it comes to the digital disruption of the workplace. Although it’s worth noting that digital disruption isn’t a new concept.
Emerging technologies are influencing and revolutionizing our ways of working for a long time now. But what the pandemic has done is to show us that change can be implemented at an accelerated rate when needed.
Having gone through this as a global community, there are many that believe that embracing this new pace of change and embracing new technologies will be what sets businesses apart from their competition, and what determines their potential for long-term success. As such, embracing change when it comes to technology will be instrumental to survival post-crisis. This is especially true for law firms.
In every industry, organizations large and small, and at every level of the hierarchy, the need has never been so great for proficiency with digital technologies and the new ways of working that they require.
The most established professions of the business world — including accounting, finance, operations, business law, and management itself — are changing dramatically.
Employees at every level must keep up with digital concepts: robotic process automation, AI, predictive analytics, cybersecurity, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, industrial platform design, customer experience, electronic ledgers (blockchain), and drones.
Digital disruption is understood as the influence of new digital technologies and business models on existing goods, services, systems, and structures. No doubt, this shift is a gradual process; but it’s fair to say that the impact of digital technologies is increasing exponentially.
A great example of this is the way that streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have disrupted the media and entertainment industries by changing how content is accessed by customers and monetized by advertisers. These developments have revolutionized the traditional oligopoly of television networks, who previously had total control over broadcasting rights and viewership.
The term ‘digital disruption’ for some, has negative connotations. The negative impression can make it difficult for businesses, especially law firms to grasp its numerous benefits and opportunities. But ‘disruption’ refers to the break from existing or traditional approaches to business; the emergence of better alternatives and opportune changes brought about via new technology.
Another example is that of technology giant Apple and the iTunes ecosystem, which revolutionized the way we organize, store and play music. The iPod also played a huge role in the way we listened to music in the early 2000s and left other alternatives in the dust.
Other notable fallouts from inadequately responding to digital disruption include:
– Kodak vs digital photography available on smartphones and photo-sharing social media platforms such as Instagram
– Book retailers vs eBook readers such as Kindle
Most recent, and perhaps notable, of these, is ride-sharing service Uber compared to the taxi industry. Uber, as with many of the digital innovations mentioned above, is a perfect example of how digital technologies also work to democratize access to goods and services and are challenging the traditional unilinear model of provider → consumer.
What’s definite is that change is constant, and businesses within all industries including the legal profession will need to be open to being flexible if they are to keep operating in the post-crisis era.
As a firm, you must be open to embracing the change coming to the legal profession with the use of technology. It is indeed changing the way lawyers work.
Lawyers must learn to adapt to the integration of technology in the workplace. Clients are more digitally inclined now and will expect their lawyer to be able to relate with them at that level – utilizing technology to communicate, interact and get stuff done.
Digital upskilling is a must for the legal profession and gives you a head start. Digital Upskilling is not simply a matter of teaching people how to use a new device. That device may be obsolete by next year. The upskilling experience involves learning how to think, act and thrive in a digital world that is sustainable over time.
Are you all confused about digitization and where to start? Shoot us a mail. Let’s talk: [email protected].