Happy New Year! Acuity ELM had a very productive year and welcomed some great new clients. We launched new dashboards, Legal Hold, Vendor Management, Accruals,  our AI feature – Acuity Insights and more.

So now let’s recap the most discussed topics this past year in legal technology. Many carried over from last year; some are brand new. Although a few are still in the discussion stage, they need to be on your radar for what’s coming next.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion continue to be an ongoing issue for in-house legal counsel. In-house legal departments are requesting minority and diversity information from their firms (and prospective firms) prior to making new matter assignments and negotiating fee arrangements.  Hiring a woman- or minority-owned firm may produce the same results at a lower cost. Are you tracking diversity both within your department and with your outside counsel? Have you set benchmark diversity goals for your panel counsel? Many ELM systems, like Acuity ELM, can be used to collect such data points as well as track compliance. Stay tuned for our Firm Scorecard coming in 2019!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Rescue

There is a lot of hype about artificial intelligence and how it will affect all areas of business. AI is swiftly being integrated into many software products and other technologies designed to assist legal departments. Where this solution works best is with simple, repetitive actions and tasks that do not require complex decision-making. A good example might be eBilling review. Acuity’s AI solution, Acuity Insights, is an at-the-moment tool, providing snapshot analyses of invoice patterns and budget performance; Acuity Insights is a true AI tool in that it recalculates and revises projections as new data points are added.  Learn more >

Where is Blockchain Headed

Blockchain is on everyone’s mind these days and is quickly becoming a concern for legal counsel as well. Although blockchain currency opens up the door for many innovative internal company options and investment opportunities, it also raises some legitimate questions. How blockchain is tracked, shared and used are questions you need to determine within your organization. According to Bloomberg Law, “blockchain technology is now being used to build tools and infrastructure that help lawyers draft contracts, record commercial transactions, and verify legal documents.” It’s a lot to think about in the coming year.

Cyber Security an Ongoing Concern

Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern and probably always will be. If you partner with outside counsel, you now have to be worried about the security of their infrastructure along with your own. Just about every company is using cloud computing as well, and along with your other vendors, you must also vet cloud computing and web hosting assets to make sure they are not vulnerable to hacking, which could put your sensitive data at risk. Some of the biggest concerns in this area are phishing email scams, hacked email accounts, ransomware, and the vulnerability of confidential employee, client or company data. Acuity recently announced its release of NIST and HIPPA compliant multi-factor authentication tools to offer protection of clients’ confidential and sensitive information.

Change and Innovation

The most valuable tool in your legal arsenal for 2019 is going to be your ability to adapt and embrace change and innovation. Things change rapidly in legal technology and something that was cutting-edge yesterday is old news today. Instead of becoming complacent and fighting change, embrace the ways that innovations can help streamline your processes, help with spend management, track projects, and eBilling. We can’t wait to share with you the innovation coming from our Product team and developers this year. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog to stay up to date.

2019 promises to bring us new challenges, innovations, and surprises in technology, however, armed with some information and a drop of curiosity, you should be able to gracefully embrace the new, phase out the old, and march forward towards a new year.

Book a demo below if you’re interested in learning more about our software for corporate legal, claims and legal ops departments. Trust us with your last implementation and your final ELM decision.

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