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Welcome to the Institute’s 2021 guide to listed legal software suppliers. A year on from our last edition and the Covid-19 pandemic has made - and continues to make - huge changes in our working lives. This time last year our guide anticipated the advance of remote working and remote access: this year we make a tentative stab at predicting how the world of work will look in the near future.
For employees, the changes are enormous and bring huge consequences. Many are making new choices about where they want to live and have generated new expectations about flexibility, working conditions and work-life balance. Recent research by the Future Forum of 4,700 knowledge workers discovered that an overwhelming majority had no desire to return to the old “way” of working. Only 12% wanted to go back to full-time office work, while 72% preferred a hybrid model.
Employers have come to accept that they can carry out most tasks remotely without a significant drop in productivity or quality. At the same time, employers and employees still need to meet face-to-face to collaborate, build relationships, solve challenges, and generate ideas.
We anticipate that forward-thinking law firms will embrace and invest in this post-pandemic world.
We see four key aspects to their strategy.
- Employees can choose to work remotely or in the office according to the demands of their work and their teams: choice will be critical to retain key staff.
- Partners and managers will develop skills to manage, coach and motivate their teams remotely.
- The cloud will be the operational hub of the business. Security and access will encompass differing working modes and applications will develop the capacity for seamless, virtual collaboration.
- Partners will invest heavily in cultivating a culture of trust, collaboration and bonding across their firms - in the office, at home and in other remote locations.
Our new 2021 guide offers some pointers to how software is developing to meet these challenges. You will find company overviews, products and target markets for all the software suppliers listed in the guide. We list them by size and area of law and include some of the key functionalities and areas of compliance of their products.
Side-by-side with changes in working practices and IT are developments in rules and procedures for the legal services world. Law firms therefore have many matters to reflect on and many decisions to make as they build their strategies to meet the new world of work.