Recognising challenges Despite an underlying feeling of concern and vulnerability, there is awareness among lawyers of the challenges they face and what action they should be taking to overcome them. Increasingly, law firms appreciate that continual evolution is the new reality and that this will not be possible without embracing new technology. A staggering 92% of the lawyers we interviewed believe that continued investment in technology is no longer optional – but rather a “must”; and that there is no one solution that will help them keep pace with the market. Towards this goal, 70% of law firms have implemented or planned increased investment in processes/technology; 78% in website development and 50% in using technology for customer relationship management (CRM). The disconnect between thought and deed At the same time, there is a huge gulf between what rms say they are going to do and what they actually do. There are signi cant anomalies in the order that lawyers place the challenges their business faces and the changes that they are planning, or have implemented. To illustrate, deploying CRM technology is the sixth top priority for law rms, but only half have done, or are planning to do, something about it. Three technologybased initiatives feature in the top six priorities of law rms, while “convincing established lawyers of the need to modernise practices” ranks tenth in the changes planned for the coming year. Fundamentally, lawyers’ attitude to modernisation is one of the major barriers to successful technology implementation. This suggests that lawyers aren’t tackling the problem at its roots. Equally lawyers’ overall attitude towards embracing technology can be perplexing. Even though there is broad acceptance that the use of technology is the way forward, there is a reticence to adopt it. 46% of law rms don’t use practice management systems, 42% case management systems, 50% have no online risk and compliance resource and 87% have no proof-reading software. In a process driven business, these technologies are core to business e¬ciency and crucial in bridging the gap between the service levels that clients expect and the actual level of service that rms can tangibly deliver. The report reveals that 85% of lawyers agree that client demands are having as big an impact on working practices as regulation, yet only 40% of rms have taken on more sta to meet those demands. Taking on non-fee earners to help “develop business/increase e¬ciency” is also quite low down the list, even though a number of the key challenges faced by lawyers lie outside their comfort zone and skillset.