- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
Last week I attended LegalTech, part of LegalWeek, The Experience in New York City. The tech-focused portion of the event saw more than 10,000 attendees and featured more than 200 speakers and 300 vendors.
The presentation tracks and exhibiting vendors offered a wide array of topics and solutions to consider, but as with all conferences, a few themes dominated the show. Here are my key takeaways from #LegalTech2017 and what I expected to see more of at next year’s event.
I spent my time walking the exhibit hall floor, talking to vendors and attendees to see what type of solutions are being offered and what problems legal experts are trying to solve for using technology. Not surprisingly, e-Discovery was a dominant theme at the show, with many vendors touting their benefits. Within this space, a few themes seemed to reign supreme:
With the expanding workforce, an increasing need for access to talent and potentially grueling turnaround times, these key features resonate well within the legal tech market. Litigation isn’t a steady state of being, and legal firms and customer companies need to be able to quickly and easily meet demand spikes. Legal tech is filling that need with easier access to talent and automated functions – like email and document tagging – that allow faster turnaround.
Another major talking point was how to shift from being reactive to being proactive, ready to quickly address legal issues. Fast scalability and deep analytic solutions play well into this need and this trend will undoubtedly expand as we get further into the era of automation, deep data and “as a service” solutions.
While talking points like flexibility, scalability, speed and ease of access were the dominant themes, I also heard the beginning talk of a rising theme: security.
Security – and its cousin, risk – were the focal points of a few presentations during the conference. I also noticed larger tech vendors and consumer organizations placing a greater emphasis on data security. While security has undoubtedly always been a concern, it’s becoming a more prominent feature with legal teams and companies looking for solutions that adhere to the highest (and even evolving) security standards.
This rising trend makes sense. As the chain of custody for sensitive corporate information expands, and as litigation teams use more and more outsourced help within the e-Discovery process, security becomes a larger and more urgent concern. Not to mention that the threat of data breaches is becoming increasingly pressing and a growing cause for litigation.
Language translation is another use case that reinforces the need for legal tech to adopt and maintain a strong security posture. Contractor bases are growing within this space – whether for translation needs or outsourced e-Discovery – meaning more individuals are touching highly sensitive information on a wider range of endpoint devices in a “work from anywhere” environment. This naturally increases the risk of a data breach and legal tech as a whole recognizes that while flexibility, speed and scaling are important, security measures and solutions need to grow in tandem to address the increased risk.
Scalability, ease and speed may be the attention-grabbing features and differentiators for legal tech vendors right now, but I predict that within the next year we’ll see security join the ranks as a key selling point.
That’s just my brief takeaway from my time at LegalTech 2017. I’d love to hear about the conversations you had and the themes that stuck out the most to you – manny.ladis[at]dizzion.com.