As quickly as it started, it seems, it’s over. We at Microsystems are back from ILTACON 2017, the annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association. It’s one of the two major legal tech events we attend each year. Now that we’ve caught up on all the sleep we missed over five whirlwind days, we wanted to take a moment to look back and reflect on what we learned and what we’re looking forward to. Here are the three things we’re most excited to follow up on after ILTACON.
The Trend Toward Consolidation
The trend in software provision is toward consolidated, complete solution software packages, something that Microsystems will be doing with the announcement that our parent company, K1, has acquired Litéra and The Sackett Group. Combining these companies will create the world’s only end-to-end document solution for lawyers and corporate counsels, and you can read more about the deal in the official announcement.
The feedback we’ve heard is that law firms want to invest in an integrated software suite that contains best of breed products, rather than buying a single integrated solution suite or several best of breed products. By making this investment, Microsystems, Litéra, and The Sackett Group will do just that. At the same time we will reduce support complexity and simplify the commercial relationship. We think this is the best way to configure software solutions, so we’re excited to see that this approach is becoming a popular trend.
Yes, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Was a Huge Topic
We knew it was coming, but AI was indeed one of the hot topics we heard about all week. Well beyond the three-part discussion about real-world AI applications and practical advice, everyone was debating whether the reality of AI could ever live up to the hype! There are definite pros and cons to increasing our reliance on this technology, but the key for all of us was the reminder that AI is not now (and likely never will be) replacing lawyers. Instead, it’s better thought of as “amplified intelligence”—machine learning that can help lawyers do their work better.
Separate from AI, we were also excited to hear about the possibilities of blockchain technology. This type of decentralized networked database is nearly unhackable and provides immediate public access to information. We’re looking to see what applications blockchain might have in legal technology and document management.
A number of surveys were conducted during ILTACON that returned some surprising and exciting results, stay tuned for a new edition of The Changing Lawyer in 2018. For one, we were glad to see that the large majority of law firms have seen a significant push to replace their manual processes with automated technology and AI applications. This demand is being driven by the increasing percentage of millennials in the workforce. These young, tech-savvy workers are changing the direction of legal technology, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Automated tools in particular are branching out beyond quality control and risk mitigation to take on more tasks and increase lawyers’ efficiency.
We had a terrific time at ILTACON 2017, just as we expected. Start planning now to attend in 2018, especially if you’ve never been. It’s one of the highlights of our year here at Microsystems!