New report Identifies top digital transformation priorities among post COVID-19

NetMotion this week unveiled a new report identifying the top digital transformation challenges, opportunities and priorities among global law firms post COVID-19. In total, legal sector technology professionals overwhelmingly ranked improving the end user experience, accelerating cloud migration, and adopting zero trust security tools and architecture, such as software defined perimeters (SDP) and the secure access service edge (SASE) methodology, as the most urgent technological advancements needed to support a post COVID-19 hybrid workforce. Additional priorities for 2021 include upgrading remote connectivity and refreshing the device estate.

To generate its report, NetMotion hosted over 50 virtual focus groups with legal sector CIOs and IT leaders from around the world.

Additionally, NetMotion commissioned a third-party survey of an additional 150 tech leaders from law firms in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States in April 2021: subsequently aggregating the results from the focus groups and the survey into its exclusive finding. 

Additional findings include:

Unreliable network connectivity and/or speed and poor application performance are unequivocally the biggest barriers to maximizing the end user experience for a permanently hybrid workforce. Some of the most reported issues to IT over the past year include Zoom/Microsoft Teams audio and video problems; consistent MFA reauthentication, application crashes and failure to access cloud resources, among other frustrations.To improve the user experience, CIOs and IT leaders require greater real-time data and insights into devices, networks, and applications; more visibility into remote-work specific security threats and enhanced diagnostics on issues encountered by remote workers.To better support the firm, CIOs and IT leaders also report needing greater insights into remote work specific threats, diagnostic issues reported by remote workers and data on usage intensity of websites and apps.Specifically, to better support remote work, CIOs and IT leaders report wanting more real-time data on connectivity issues, details on network traffic split out of the VPN tunnel, app usage stats and specifics on where network traffic is going.Physical locations will be the main place of work for less than 35% of law firms post pandemic, with nearly 50% remaining permanently hybridOnly 12% of law firms still have more than three-quarters of core applications hosted on-premises, although less than half (44%) have managed to migrate the majority of their resources to the cloud.

The report also reveals that around 14% of law firms have implemented SASE already – almost twice as likely as those in other sectors. SASE adoption is also more likely to be driven by IT teams than in other industries, with 66% of SASE strategies at law firms being led by IT, compared with a global average of just 53%. Further, fewer than 1 in 5 law firms have made no plans to adopt SASE at all (19%), much lower than the global average of 29%. 

“The onset of 2020 saw ten years of digital transformation among law firms in just ten months, as priorities were accelerated, abandoned and adjusted both temporarily and for the long haul,” said Matt Brown, Head of NetMotion’s Legal Services in North America. “Our report reveals not just the pain points and pressures specific to the legal sector, but also provides actionable tips and resources to help accelerate the technology adoption that is most critical to the future of hybrid work.”