Justin Farmer, EVP of Products & Services at Wilson Allen, gives us his rundown of his visit to ILTACON 2022 last week!

What an exciting time to be in the legal technology industry! After visiting with many clients and partners at ILTACON last week, my colleagues and I have returned excited and energized. Why?

Let’s start with the people. ILTACON had over 3,000 attendees, making the 2022 conference one of the largest in the event’s history. It really feels like a privilege to be able to see so many clients, vendors, colleagues, and friends. But not only were there lots of people around, but there was also a lot of buzz – I had never experienced a conference with such a vibrant and diverse set of conversations. So, what are the big, emerging themes as I saw them?

The major software vendors are continuing to execute on their roadmaps –

  • A continued consolidation of software assets by some of the main industry software-developers, and re-focusing their investments to better integrate those solutions, and the rise of the platform.
  • The introduction of no-code/low-code solutions to develop workflows and automation.
  • Creating a connected workplace with teams and clients that will increase the speed and transparency of work product delivery.

In terms of the law firms themselves, it’s clear there are a number of major initiatives underway, although there continue to be challenges to attain and retain the talent necessary to execute:

  • Law firms are now planning and executing on their own journey to the cloud – they are looking to build out their public cloud infrastructure and introduce new DevOps responsibilities to their IT teams. Some have already taken steps along the migration path, but everyone at least has some level of plan.
  • And the number one topic that I observed was change management. (And, no, not just because I had a session on that very topic, although it does seem rather convenient 😊) Adoption of new technologies, new processes and new ways of working is key to success for all these initiatives.

So, yes, these are truly exciting times – especially for a tech geek like me. This is our legal-tech digital revolution!

WA sessions at ILTACON – a quick recap

As firms look to onboard new technology and migrate core line-of-business systems to the cloud, the need for effective change management increases. New technologies and ways of working require human resource management, and how people cope with change will vary depending on age and experience.

Wilson Allen specialists explored this topic in a session entitled, Multi-Generational Strategies for Successfully Dealing with Change. It was an interesting discussion which dissected how Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers react and cope with change. It hopefully gave all attendees a greater appreciation of how accommodating generational differences can lead to effective change and more successful outcomes.

Wilson Allen specialists participated in two further sessions at ILTACON, including a Trainers Roundtable and a discussion about the rise of the Data Scientist.

The Trainers Roundtable was a chance for participants to openly share tips on how they have diversified their learning options to cater to on-premise, on-demand and online training needs. One thing came through loud and clear; the pandemic caused a disruption that necessitated the prioritization of technology training and adoption.

The session, What is a Data Scientist and How Are Firms Using Them?, showcased developments in the world of data and data science. Wilson Allen Data Scientist, Liz McLaughlin, shared her expertise first to explain the difference between data analytics—a look backwards in time, and data science, which helps firms predict future outcomes. Advances in technology are issuing in a new era of real-time data use that will enable firms to leverage a broader range of data in a more versatile and habitual manner to drive better performance outcomes.  Like many topics at ILTACON, data science is a new and innovative tech trend. The opportunity to hear, participate and learn in a dedicated environment once again was, I believe, beneficial for law firm leaders.

The conference provided an informative demonstration of the possibilities of the latest legal technology applications and services. It certainly provided food for thought for law firms looking to adapt to the challenges of an economy slowly emerging from pandemic conditions.

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