Every sector of our economy has undergone several major changes in recent years. With shifting work life patterns and rising levels of online reliance, businesses are embracing advances in technology like never before and, ultimately, are delivering a better experience to their clients.
Many law firms, for instance, were forced to change their approach in light of the pandemic, moving away from the traditional way of working to embrace remote-based technology-focused systems. And, for the most part, the transition went a lot more smoothly than expected – in fact, many law firms are now looking at more ways to streamline their services.
Meanwhile, a long-haul driver shortage and the construction industry’s surge in demand for skilled tradespeople led to targeted online recruitment campaigns to gap-fill sectors and recruit qualified employees more quickly. Whether these changes have been brought on faster as a result of the coronavirus pandemic remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
With this in mind, we thought we’d compile a brief list of the trends expected to shape the future of industry generally, highlighting some of the key technologies and changes firms around the globe are likely to adopt moving forward.
For a long time, many industries, such as law firms, finance companies and educational establishments have been associated with excessive amounts of paperwork – from invoices and contracts to legal documents to everything in between. However, in today’s day and age of sustainability, the more paperless you can be, the better.
As such, a whole host of cloud-based software solutions now exist to not only clamp down on paperwork, but also to help streamline processes and make inboxes easier to manage. Insight Legal Software, for instance, is a cloud-based legal account, practise management and case management solution designed to save legal firms time and increase their overall level of efficiency. Ideally suited to be used in a wide range of legal roles, this system is perfect for legal cashiers, practice managers and partners, providing an all-in-one solution to make time recording, billing and, more or less, every other avenue of the legal process easier to manage.
As time goes on, more and more firms are expected to adopt software solutions like these, since they allow employees to take the stress out of the more admin-focused work and put their priority on other more important avenues.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
While on the topic of processes becoming more streamlined and easier to manage, the rise of artificial intelligence-based software is likely to continue, eventually going on to replace many of the more manual tasks associated with many industries.
Whether it be through conducting research, reviewing documents, billing, drafting contracts or offering support, artificial intelligence is already proving successful in the legal industry through its ability to attract new customers via automatic live chat services. As such, this trend is likely to continue moving forward and extend to other sectors. In the future, more and more companies are being seen to adopt a more innovative tech-first approach to their services.
Previously, the idea of working remotely would have been a complete no go for a lot of businesses. However, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, that mindset has now drastically changed. As a result of this, it is widely expected that many companies will continue to embrace home working moving forward, enabling staff to work remotely and only come into the office when absolutely necessary.
This, in turn, is also expected to lead to an increase in the number of employers who are permitted and encouraged to operate on a freelance basis, allowing them to pick and choose a more flexible approach to the way they work. And, while this may sound like a negative, it could actually result in an increase in outsourcing, making it easier for firms to identify and work with the best talent available on an ad hoc basis.
The adoption of tools like AppearMe, for example, is expected to increase because of this. If you take law firms as an example, they are able to source expert witnesses, litigation support specialists and freelance attorneys both quickly and easily, software like this will soon enable firms to work more efficiently and productively without the need for in-house staff.
Many industries have previously had a reputation for outdated processes and an abundance of paperwork, but that has all changed in light of the continuing pandemic. Moving forward, more and more firms are expected to use technology within their services, adopting tools that will not only make it easier to manage admin tasks but, in some cases, actually replace them altogether.