There is no doubt that the UK lockdown has thrown business in turmoil. The last few weeks have understandably seen most organisations in business continuity mode; putting all non-essential expenditure on hold, transitioning to a remote working model, and making hugely difficult decisions around which staff to furlough.
Tough times for all, and my thoughts go out to each and every one reading this who has been, and continues to be, affected by COVID-19.
Yet, the legal industry can already take away some very real insights from this crisis; insights that are – though it is early days yet – sparking debate around what a post-COVID-19 business model may look like.
Remote work has grown commonplace across industries. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that over one out of five professionals did some or all of their work from home in 2019. The legal industry, however, has been slow to embrace the trend due to compliance issues, heavy regulation and concerns over client data protection.
What the last few weeks have proven is that home working works. Moreover, it actually may bring with it a raft of benefits – from reducing physical office space to reduce a firm’s cost base, to cutting back on mileage and face-to-face meetings in favour of web based client consultations to promote a more environmentally sustainable practice.
Having the right infrastructure is key. And this is where CTS has seen our cloud-enabled clients make the transition to a remote working model extremely well. The flexibility of a subscription-based cloud model has also enabled firms to be hugely responsive to changing circumstances; something that has never been more important.
Rather than having to worry about the corporate infrastructure or applications, firms’ main concerns have been around home connectivity, device authentication and an obvious spike in demand for collaboration tools, such as MS Teams and Zoom. Many firms have also been able to turn to us for additional IT and business continuity support, where their own IT staff may have been overstretched or off ill.
As we enter the next phase of remote working, there will be additional opportunities for law firms to get ahead of the curve.
Consider integrations or consulting projects that have, understandably, been put on hold. Can the time we are in lockdown be used to make significant progress on these initiatives, so your firm can come out the other side ahead of the curve?
What might your ‘back to work’ model look like? Remote working works; is it a model to consider seriously, and if so, what policies and technologies do you need moving forward? Should business continuity plan be expanded to include the home working environment?
Whatever the next weeks and months bring, one thing I am certain of – adoption of cloud-based services that enable firms to work remotely and intelligently will be accelerated.
Supporting our clients through this current period and helping you to plan for the future is something we feel very passionately about. I am therefore pleased to announce that CTS has launched a free strategic guidance service, delivered via an online chat service, for our clients. Manned by senior technical consultants, this service is designed to provide fast answers to strategic questions you may have around remote working and transitioning to more cloud-based services.
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