Consultant Peter Owen of Lights-On Consulting and Insider editor Charles Christian did a reprise of their futurist double act at last week’s Alternative Legal IT Conference. Starting with a review of the predictions they made the last time they were on stage together two years ago (Pete Owen gave himself a modest 85% success rate, whereas Christian went all Simon Cowellesqe claiming he was 115% accurate on his predictions) they then went on to look at the “next big things” in law firm technology they thought would be making waves over the next couple of years.

altlegalit

Christian (on right) – Girl in bath of cold beans (left)

 

Peter Owen went for Service over Technology as legal services became more consumerised but with the caveat that law firms and other legal services providers would have to invest in the call centre style technology, staffing and training to make it happen + People, Premises & IT and the importance of law firms realising they must start investing serious money in technology if they are not to be left behind + Big Data and the fact the way large corporations analyse Big Data to discover business and consumer trends apply equally to law firms. The key, said Pete, is to analyse all the information they already have at their disposal and make greater and better use of it.

Charles Christian opted for his Campaign for Real Software as a Service and the growing demand for pricing and contractual models that offered a similar flexibility to the utility pricing available in the consumer market + the Consumerisation of Software – or why is legal software so complicated and takes so long to rollout + Systems to Earn more Beans and the need for law firms to focus less on back office administration and more on marketing and business development technology. Too much innovation, he said, is conducted in a vacuum, with firms not realising how far behind the times they are. And he warned that firms must be clear how they will monetarise their new business initiatives. “There may be a niche in the market but is there a market in that niche.”

The double-act will be back in 2015 and in the meantime they are available for after-dinner speaking slots, weddings and fringe festivals.