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Is the Legal Industry Ready for Mobility?

Posted by Gaby Isturiz on October 31, 2014 at 4:48 PM

16755398_sIn the past, we’ve discussed how mobility is changing every interaction in our lives, including the way that we work, shop and communicate. You might remember our recent infographic that showed that the number of mobile-connected devices is expected to exceed the number of people on earth by the end of 2014. By 2018, there are expected to be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. As if these numbers aren’t astounding enough, the most recent stats below are even more overwhelming:

It’s clear to see that mobility is taking over, right? Not so fast.

We’ve come to accept the belief that enterprises, including law firms are running aggressively toward mobility. In our heads, we imagine mobile deployments with a clear focus to increase productivity and run a more profitable business. There is plenty of research to support this, such as a recent survey conducted by Accenture “Mobility Research 2014: Mobility Fueling the Digital Surge”, companies cite mobility as the number one or two priority of all digital technologies. The survey also noted that 44% of participants said that there was a company-wide mobility strategy at their organization and another 43% told of a mobility strategy in certain business units and functions.

However, reality is a bit different. Many companies have made little or no progress when it comes to mobility. Only 18% of the participants said they were satisfied, while 40% said progress was very slow. More importantly, 85% had no suitable method for measuring the benefits of mobile technologies.

It’s the difference between mobility and Mobility.

We call this the “just an app” mentality, where people mistake true mobility for simply “having an app.”  This is perpetuated by industry media, headlines littered with titles like “productivity apps for attorneys,” “best iOS mobile apps,” “getting the most out of your iPad,” “10 attorneys’ apps and 10 minutes,” “smartphone tips for attorneys,” and so on. App coverage is so saturated that people are desensitized. Just last week, I read in Law Technology News, four articles related to “best apps.”


So what is missing? For starters, the understanding that mobility is more than a series of disconnected apps with the “hope” of increasing productivity and profitability. Mobility gets thwarted on a daily basis, with 80% of companies having no formal process to identify, evaluate and prioritize the benefits of mobility, according to the Accenture survey.

Enterprise Mobility is more than “a bunch of apps, emails and contacts." It is the framework to enable members of an organization, i.e. attorneys, administrators, etc., with adequate mobile technology to enable and simplify workflows, make their jobs more convenient anywhere they are while still connected to the firm's enterprise systems as well as other parties.

Can Mobility transform the way we do business? Absolutely! As long as we understand that embracing mobility in legal might not be as simple as it sounds. In order for legal to be “ready” for mobility, both law firms and vendors must have a clear mobile strategy based on the following:

  • Ability of mobile to deliver  true business value
  • Mobility focused on the user
  • Strategic efforts to drive adoption and engagement
  • Demonstrate success in making user’s job easier
  • Execution of the mobile strategy
  • Measure of results

What do you think, is legal ready for mobility? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Topics: Mobility

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