One of the biggest advantages of operating in the digital realm is the ready availability of data that makes it much easier to measure results. This is a boon for anyone using digital technology for a new business initiative, whether you’re rolling out a new app or platform or about to launch a social media marketing campaign. Thinking and being digital allows you to track the effectiveness of what you’re doing. Whether you measure success in terms of app downloads, usage on a social network, page views or click-throughs, or whatever other call to action you’re trying to stimulate, you can calculate the ROI for your digital initiative down to the precise penny spent.
So it is pretty rare in the digital world to hear savvy people tell you that they don’t intend to undertake any sort of ROI analysis especially when they are undertaking a major new initiative. And yet that is precisely what we heard last week when we interviewed the Global Head of Legal Technology for an AmLaw 100 firm. “We didn’t bother with an ROI analysis when we made the decision to go ahead.”
And the reason why this law firm had dispensed with an ROI analysis is even more surprising. Apparently the ROI benefits of this firm’s most recent major tech development effort were so immediately obvious to everyone in the firm, they didn’t see any need to undertake a more formal analysis! It’s not every day you hear that kind of ringing endorsement for innovation and the use of technology in a law firm. From the moment the pilot project launched, the firm’s lawyers have been lining up for a chance to get involved.
Frankly we’re much more used to law firms thinking and working the other way around – dragging their feet about tech innovation no matter how promising the ROI benefits seem to be. But in the last few weeks Guy and I have had a chance to visit with a handful of law firms that are breaking away from the pack by introducing new tools and technologies that are actually beginning to transform the practice of law. We’ve written up four case studies on this wave of law firm innovation that will be included in our new book, which is being published by the Ark Group next month. Our book is about the use of social business technology by large law firms and more fully develops the concept of the Social Law Firm that we have written about on the blog.