To kick off our podcast series, we spoke with David Aird, IT Director at DAC Beachcroft LLP. David Aird is a dynamic, proactive, and commercially driven IT leader with a proven track record of project and people management skills gained from supporting a number of complex and demanding business environments, including Facilities, Public, SME, Retail, and IT Services. He has strong a passion and drive to provide business-driven IT solutions to a wide range of internal and external clients.
David has over 25 years of experience as a technology leader, working for industry giants such as MITIE, before joining DAC Beachcroft LLP. His dedication, energy, and enthusiasm has contributed to his success as both a technology leader and a fantastic colleague.
In this episode, David Aird talks;
David Aird is the IT Director at DAC Beachcroft LLP and joins the show to discuss bringing your ‘whole self’ to work, winning the war for talent and the security threats that keep him awake at night.
David talks about the importance of diversity inclusion for all genders, sexualities, and ethnicities and how workplaces can benefit from being a safe and welcoming space for these various networks.
“Be yourself. If people are themselves, their best versions, then they are also going to bring their best to work.”
Social mobility is an important factor to the growth of businesses and individuals. Internal mobility and expanding knowledge and skills for employees in areas they are interested in allows them to see opportunities within an organization and grow in their career, which is something that we discuss in depth David.
“(Cyber) Security people are difficult to find, so we can promote from within, get people opportunities, it’s a win for the employee – more opportunities for them, and a win for us (the business). We can find that talent from within rather than constantly get it from the market.”
Cyber security is a major factor in the legal technology space and is only getting worse. Cyber criminals are targeting smaller firms, which can also affect larger firms, leading to the entire chain being impacted. The two Davids talk about the lasting impact of a cyber security breach that can linger within an organization and the individuals impacted.
“There are some weak spots (in the industry) – as we saw with the barristers and others. It is always the weakest link in the chain that these people (cyber criminals) target.”
David discussed the importance of putting people and process before product. While some people are focused on technology as the end result, he reminds us that it is important to understand what businesses need and the problem that is being solved before deciding on technology as the answer.
“They (people and businesses) aren’t sure what the question is, never mind the output, and then all of a sudden (they) are looking for a tech answer. That could be a dangerous path because (they) are not always sure what they are looking for. And that’s why I think a lot of tech projects are not successful – because people have forgotten the first part and they have launched straight into ‘what tech can I buy to solve this’.”
Change is inevitable. If lawyers have issues with changes, then the leaders of the firm and IT teams needs to guide them and explain the risks of not bridging change. They need to understand the benefits, and risks of not adapting, to accept change.
“Sometimes disruptive change, as painful as it is, is needed.”
AI is very useful and can help lawyers, but the tasks they do are extremely limited. David Aird shares his views on lawyers worried about losing their job to this technology.
“AI is a useful addition, they make lawyers and people, in general, more productive but that’s all they are.”
Shaped for Law is a CTS-produced podcast series that takes you on a journey into the minds of legal tech leaders and innovators. Follow the link below for more episodes with CTS In-House Legal CIO, David Fazakerley, as he explores the state – and the future – of legal technology.