Arlene Adams is the founder and CEO of Peppermint Technology. Arlene is known for providing insight and vision, particularly in markets undergoing radical change. Drawing on her vast and varied experience, Arlene brings a fresh, enthusiastic and sometimes controversial approach to helping law firms succeed and grow in the volatile legal services market.
The legal market is undergoing seismic change. It’s not a threat of something that may happen; it’s happening now. If you wait to see how the market plays out, you will be too late.
On a daily basis I engage with businesses, existing law firms and new entrants alike, who are plotting and taking action to radically change how legal services are delivered.
In five years’ time the landscape of legal services will be very different. There will be more legal providers of a larger scale. They will adopt business models that are highly automated and largely technology driven. We will also see a surge of boutique firms focusing on specialised work. Again, they will use technology but with a focus on using data to provide a highly personalised and relevant service. It is likely that some of the largest and most successful legal providers in 2017 will be names we haven’t even heard of yet.
Understanding customers is vital
It’s already happened in other markets and it will happen in legal. Take retail for example. Before the adoption of the Internet no one had heard of Amazon. Now it’s one of the most successful companies on the planet. Traditional retailers lost out to a business that used technology to transform how services are delivered in their market. Many large companies waited too long and in the end became victims of their own denial. Technology has changed the way we all interact and consume services and understanding this is vital to any business strategy.
Recent research commissioned by Peppermint Technology, across 1000 consumers and 150 businesses, found that legal clients are increasingly demanding new, technology-driven models of consumption. Law firms must embrace technology, and the client, at the core of their business if they are to deliver a quality service, every time, anywhere, anytime. Like Amazon, law firms must focus on becoming data driven businesses and turn this data into value. Only with technology at the core of the business will firms be able to deliver high quality services at the right price point.
The future is being defined now. In this wilderness, firms must realise it is a fight for survival. You either eat lunch or become lunch.