Changes of paradigm have always been the outcome of a given disruptive situation that ends the existing status quo. While technology has already provided the vehicle for changes in the way services are generally provided, a threat as the one we live today is the boost needed for any deep change. Covid-19 is for sure the trigger that will help us rethink the way we do business.
What is therefore expected and likely to happen is that the changes technology was increasingly providing many professions will now be across the board. The way services are being provided will deeply change, and change will be proportional to the disruption caused by the triggering event. In this case it will be even deeper than the 2008 housing bubble burst.
Happily, all these circumstances unfold in a time in which there is technology available to produce changes of importance. The axis of change will be a shift in the manner services are provided, from presence-based to remote. And remote will mean that companies will dramatically reduce travel and focus on more efficient, technology-driven performance. Professional services, whether tourism, consulting, advisory, legal and so on will migrate to Technology supported delivery. This is because the market will not expose to another avoidable surprise like this.
Within the legal world, platforms and technology tools allow both legal departments and law firms to provide legal services without much disruption. However, while the technology is available and to a certain extent in use, the reality is that is far from being used. The change is as it was about 10 years ago, a change of mindset.
The change will require that attorneys get rid of paper-based documents, p2p meetings, office attendance and move to home-based work, supported by videocam meetings and rely on document platforms and electronic filings for any and all day-to-day legal documents. The outcome will be a dramatical increase in efficiency that will result in a productivity increase. The following will become usual stuff for any legal services organization:
· Telecommuting as a work rule
· Use of online platforms to produce, generate, approve and deliver documents
· Legal support increasingly provided by Alternative Legal Services Providers
· Teleconferencing for day-to-day support
· Electronic signature of documents
· Increasing use of efficiency-oriented models for ALSP for legal services
While all the above mentioned already exists and is use throughout the legal industry, Covid-19 is likely to generate an exponential growth in the use of these. There will be winners and losers to these changes as it usually happens, but what is expected is that those changes are ultimately focused on a drastic reduction in travel, and a more efficient use of time. A side effect and most welcome outcome will be ecology.
It is time to leave behind the world we were living in and make a better use of the technology that is available to use for our own benefit. A cleaner, better world is awaiting.
By Matías Avila Nores