DON’T FORGET THE BASICS
Everyone loves new and shiny things, and for most of us now, this will involve some form of technology. We love unwrapping with great enthusiasm, we love the instant download, and we just love starting to use our new devices, our new software, or our new way of doing something which will make us quicker, better and brighter. However, its important that we don’t forget the basics.
Many forms of technology today are very intuitive, user-friendly, and we can start to feel the benefits quickly. The next stage is applying it to the best advantage, and it is here that careful reading of the instructions, good training, and insightful appreciation of how to apply our new resource become very important.
In amongst all of that new process though we should never forget the basics and so careful password protection and constant saving of files and data are ever vital activities. One of the most basic of activities that technology has enhanced, of relevance to lawyers, is that of document creation.
The students of today will move from the academic world to the workplace, and especially in the legal sector, will have great new tools at their disposal. Digital dictation, voice recognition, document automation, and template tools will all soon become familiar dimensions of their working life. These technologies have helped transform the creation of written documents and have become a very cost-effective means of capturing original thought, and of presenting it to the right audience.
What is less clear, and which still needs evaluating, is not just the appropriate use of such technology, but what is the most cost-effective way of maximising its benefit?
So, for example, should a newly qualified legal professional type their own documents for first draft, or should one or more of the technologies such as speech capture be a more useful means of optimising precious time? Should those precious words be converted into text by many of the increasing voice recognition technologies? Should an experienced, yet lower cost resource such as a legal secretary type the text? Should this be an internal role or a cost-effective outsourced skill?
Technology in its myriad forms has been transforming our personal and professional lives, and like any tool, its value is found in how we apply that technology, and how we weave it into an existing process or change the process – using both the technical and human solution.
Equally, don’t forget the basics and discount many years of practical experience that has been built before technologies intervened. We should evaluate the most cost-effective means of delivering the outputs we seek – both by systems and different resourcing options. The optimum outcome will always be a blend of automation and people, and we should be ever mindful of our natural resistance to change. So yes, we should embrace technology but never forget about the people who wield it.
Martyn Best, CEO, Document Direct