According to a recent survey, the early adoption of technology in law firms gives them an early mover advantage and allows them to make more profits than those that have not adopted the innovation. In addition, the law firms that have an early mover advantage use most of their earnings to fund innovation projects. They do this because they want to maintain their position of always being ahead of the pack when it comes to adopting new technology.
Why Some Law Firms Fall Behind
The adoption of new technology is not as easy as it sounds. There are some firms that face internal problems, which may not allow them to take advantage of new technologies. Perhaps one of the partners quit, and the law firm is trying to fill that position. They cannot focus on anything else until they have dealt with the leadership vacuum.
Another reason why some law firms are slow in the adoption of new technologies is the lack of financial resources. Technology is expensive, and firms that cannot afford certain gadgets and equipment can’t adopt new technologies.
The final reason is the lack of understanding. Most attorneys are not very familiar with how emerging technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence work. Instead of wasting money on them, they prefer to go with what they understand.
Why Some Attorneys are Finding New Technologies Difficult to understand
The answer is pretty straightforward; the current products are not designed to be easy to understand. To understand how this concept works, you need to know more about the technology adoption life cycle.
The technology adoption lifecycle is a model that illustrates the acceptance or adoption of an innovation according to the psychological and demographic behavior of the adopters. The people that use the new technology are what we refer to as adopters. There are five types of adopters according the technology adoption lifecycle: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.
Currently, the new technologies are still in the early adopter and innovator phase. The innovators are those people that live and breathe technology. They always want to be the first ones to try out new gadgets. The early adopters want to get ahead. New technologies are usually less refined for these two groups of people. This means that you have to put in more effort to understand how the technology works.
The law firms that take time to adopt new technologies are referred to as the early majority. They are more reserved and prefer to work with something that isn’t too complicated.
Should the Early Majority wait until the Emerging Technologies become Simpler?
The answer is no. They can still benefit from becoming early adopters. When you become one of the first people to try out a new technology, you can help in its development. The emerging technologies are not tweaked to perfection because the developers are trying to understand what the customer wants and how the tech can be refined to meet their needs.
In fact, if your law firm can find a developer willing to partner with you and get your feedback about new technologies, the costs of adopting that technology can reduce significantly. This is because the developer will make the updates on your system. That means that you may get the refined product way before the rest of the market.
As a result, you may have a competitive advantage over others. On top of that, you can leverage on what you know and decide to train other law firms on how to use the new technology for a small fee. That way, you gain an extra source of income for your law firm.
Attorneys should not shy away from adopting new technologies because it can work to their advantage. When their law firms become early adopters, they learn more about a new technology before their colleagues. They can leverage on that knowledge by tackling high profile cases dealing with emerging technologies. They also have the opportunity to use that knowledge to improve service delivery.