Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Legal IT Leaders Innovate to Stay Ahead

Nitro CEO, Sam Chandler, introducing Nitro to legal IT leaders at Minter Ellison, Sydney.

Nitro CEO, Sam Chandler, introducing Nitro to legal IT leaders at Minter Ellison, Sydney.

Each quarter, a group of senior IT leaders from Australia’s best legal firms get together to exchange ideas and discuss challenges. This time, Nitro was invited to guide a conversation on one of the common pain points known to the knowledge economy: document productivity.

Gathering at Minter Ellison’s new Sydney office, Nitro CEO Sam Chandler delivered a presentation that questioned current practices of working with documents, how friction in processes are impacting businesses, and what IT can do to help maintain their firm’s position as a leader in the field. Following this, the group made their way down to Rockpool Bar & Grill, where conversation flowed freely over courses of seafood, steak and wine. Here are the highlights:

Competition breeds innovation

While there was great camaraderie in the room, it didn’t take away the fact that each of them are focused on delivering the best strategy possible to give their firms an edge over the competition.

More so now than ever before, IT leaders in the legal sector are stepping up to the challenge, as Gary Adler, CIO at Minter Ellison, points out, “Over the last few years, there has been major impetus from law firms across the globe – mainly due to cost pressures – to differentiate themselves via technology-enabled innovation. This has led to a legal sector race to adopt new and relevant technologies to help them achieve new ways of doing old things.”

Nitro’s focus on helping businesses streamline everyday processes such as creating, collaborating and signing documents completely transforms the approach to ‘paperwork’, and with a price tag that is much friendlier than its competition to boot, it’s in prime position to support the legal sector’s objective to remain competitive.

Rockpool Bar & Grill: Over 20 IT leaders gathered for a session of knowledge sharing and networking.

Rockpool Bar & Grill: Over 20 IT leaders gathered for a session of knowledge sharing and networking.

Security is key

The ability to protect confidential information is one, if not the most, crucial element of a successful practice. Despite the fact that digitalization of data has become the norm, legal firms at large are slow to act – shunning new technology in favour of decades-old routines such as print-sign-scan-save. With 56% of surveyed workers in legal firms claiming to use the company printer, scanner and copier over 10 times daily, it won’t take much for sensitive data to be misplaced, duplicated, destroyed or worse, stolen from a premise.

Mark Andrews, Director – Projects, IT & Knowledge at Baker McKenzie highlights, “Client confidentiality and the range of sensitive data that clients entrust with law firms make data security of critical importance. We are seeing the threat landscape evolve in ways that simply did not exist several years ago and so there is no question that all law firms must pay attention to data security.”

Documents created and shared on Nitro are protected at the highest level: our military grade security includes a best in class global security team working round the clock to provide customers the confidence to work in a safe, digital environment.

Making a case for change

As more new technologies surface, it’s easy to feel lost by the plethora of choices available without the support of a knowledge exchange forum, such as the one provided at this event. Introducing a new solution, or replacing an existing one, is no mean feat. A strong business case, that aligns with clear objectives is key, as Berys Amor, Director of Technology at Corrs outlines, “The adoption of new technologies needs to be driven by a business need, and that includes how we deliver services and solutions to the firm’s clients and not just internally.”

Left to right: Berys Amor, Director of Technology at Corrs, catches up with Tracy Wilson, CIO at Henry Davis York.

Left to right: Berys Amor, Director of Technology at Corrs, catches up with Tracy Wilson, CIO at Henry Davis York.

Listening to first-hand experience by peers minimises the risk of making costly mistakes down the road, and also proves to be a smarter way to work: why not find out which tried and tested solutions work best? With Nitro being used by over half a million customers around the world, it is no wonder that a number of legal firms here in Australia, such as Maddocks, Madgwicks Lawyers, and King & Wood Mallesons, have selected it to help accelerate their document processes.

One of our lasting impressions as the evening concluded, was how tightly knit this community of IT leaders are, and it is clear that the knowledge sharing that occurs at these sessions are paving a promising new path to innovation. We look forward to seeing great things from these leaders, and are glad to have the chance to spend some time with them.

Interested in more leadership insights? Find out about the Challenges of Change that IT leaders face in today’s competitive landscape.