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Integrated Mobile Apps: Three Things Law Firms Need to Know

Posted by Gaby Isturiz on November 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Integrated Mobile AppsFor law firms (and the enterprise world at large), mobility continues to be a priority. As evidenced in this recent survey conducted by Accenture, companies are moving aggressively to develop mobile strategies and adopt mobile technologies, with 77% of respondents ranking Mobility as the top-priority out of the most popular digital technologies.

This should not come as a surprise. Mobile devices, apps, the cloud and social media are redefining an age where technology has become the foundation of any successful business. However, an app isn’t just an app anymore, specially for organizations implementing a mobile strategy. If law firms expect to experience the benefits of true Mobility, they will need to focus on integration.

Why Integrated Mobile Apps Are Redefining the Future of Mobility

According to Dave West, former President of Forrester Research, integration problems is the top reason why businesses cannot innovate at the speed required by customers. The explosion of devices and the rise in mobility should be one of the primary drivers for integration - but it’s not happening yet.

In our recent post Is Legal Ready for Mobility? we discussed that mobility is more than a series of disconnected apps with the “hope” to increase productivity and profitability. Industry blogs and other publications are splashed with headlines like “The Best Productivity Apps for Attorneys” and other rankings of the top mobile applications for legal professionals. Although these individual apps serve a purpose for each attorney (I mean...who doesn’t love Evernote?), it is missing an important objective for law firms: actualize collaboration and productivity.


What Law Firms Need to Know About Integrated Mobile Apps

Integrated mobile apps will redefine the future, in terms of how mobility is delivered to attorneys and law firms. Here are three things you need to know:

  1. Integrated mobile apps are the framework to enable members of a law firm to do their jobs effectively from anywhere. Attorneys, administrators, paralegals and outside counsel require adequate mobile technology to make their jobs more convenient from anywhere they are with their mobile devices. Integrated mobile apps simplify workflows any time that the individual is connected to the firm's enterprise or third party systems.
  2. In order for firms to achieve true Mobility, legal technology vendors and software developers need to start designing and writing software in a very different way. They cannot build software the way they have in the past. Software development must start with an “API-first” approach (API = application programming interface). Vendors that have opened their software to third-party integration via APIs are in a good position to succeed, "because they are making their solutions that much easier for their customers to integrate into a multi-vendor or hybrid environment", according to Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies Inc., an independent consulting company.
  3. The next decade will be about “Systems of Engagement.” Enterprise IT has entered into a new phase. The focus is how users communicate with each other and clients. That’s a big change from the last decade, in which the focus was on systems of record, said Geoffrey Moore, best-selling author and widely known for writing Crossing the Chasm. To deliver business value, you must connect these two types of systems: “Systems of Engagement” and “Systems of Record.” Systems of Engagement will encompass four design principles – global, mobile, social, and virtual – and meet the dual goals of enabling people to more easily engage within their work environment and enabling businesses to more easily engage with their customers. Of course, this requires integration of your existing application systems.

Has your firm adopted an integrated mobile strategy? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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Topics: Mobility

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