A look back at ILTACON18

Disrupting legal IT

Workshare went to ILTACON this year with a strong idea – changing the game in legal IT. And, while we were there, we heard a lot of talk about disruption.

That’s not a negative thing by the way. The thought-provoking keynote, delivered by Lisa Bodell on day one, highlighted that disruption can be about participating in the “innovation revolution”.

Most major law firms have created innovation teams and best practice groups over recent years to keep ahead of the rate of change brought about by developments in:

  • New technologies, like AI and blockchain;
  • Mobility;
  • Data security;
  • And demands from a changing workforce.

These factors are disrupting the “status quo”. But, it’s exciting to be part of (and a little scary sometimes), and it’s certainly driving everyone to learn more, which we felt created a real buzz around ILTACON 2018. 

Here are just some of the things we saw, talked about and got involved in.

Data security

Curt Meltzer, Workshare’s VP of strategic relations, delivered a presentation at the Education Hub on day two of ILTACON. Curt’s theme was “Changing the game in email data loss prevention”.

It’s a hot topic of concern to many in legal technology, with the risk of data loss high and the potential for accidental or malicious sharing ever-present. We had great attendance at the session and it inspired many conversations with the Workshare team later at our stand.

We talked about data security concerns with the people we met. The conversations often focussing on streamlining processes around security and the number of vendors used to provide adequate data security for the legal industry.

This was a game changer for us. While at ILTACON we were able to announce our new security integration with iManage. Through our partnership, as two leading vendors, we are coming together to provide proactive, policy-based security for legal enterprises. This both protects the legal work product and looks at the threats of data loss across an entire business.

Head in the cloud

There was also a recurring theme of “getting things off the desktop” and moving more to the cloud. Much of these conversations were linked to the drive for mobility and innovating to deliver flexibility that the workforce now expects.

The kind of instant and flexible communication experience people have in their private lives is what they expect to be available at work too. That means not being tied to the desktop.

Talking with clients, colleagues and partners this felt like a real shift in tone for legal IT. With cloud-based solutions starting to take priority and resistance waning.

Obviously, security concerns remain present when cloud is mentioned. But with world-class vendors, like NetDocuments, addressing these issues, real focus was brought to moving from the desktop to having applications in the cloud.   

Advanced Excel comparison

On a personal note, Workshare was super-excited to see the number of people interested in our advanced ability to compare Excel workbooks. Everyone who saw it loved it and we had a huge number of demonstrations throughout the week.

We’re delighted so many people felt it would add value for them.

Bringing the same accuracy and powerful comparison capability to comparing Excel files that we already offer for Word, PowerPoint and PDF was a natural step. And, it certainly enjoyed a warm welcome at ILTACON.

Inspired thinking

ILTACON is always thought-provoking and sometimes ideas are a little avant-garde... One of the things that sticks in the memory is the idea that instead of lengthy, complex T&Cs and contracts, some lawyers are now looking at writing contracts in comic book form.

Yes, that’s right, comic book form.

The view is that contracts should be accessible and easy to understand for everyone, not just lawyers.

However - our main inspiration came from clients, of course. ILTACON was a great reminder to see problems and their solutions from our clients' perspective. It's a great touchstone for this and there are some very tangible actions we’re taking away. Perhaps they will form part of our strategy for changing the game in legal IT next year!

Last but not least

Congratulations to the iManage team on their “Innovative Solution Provider of the Year” award. They won the ILTA distinguished peer award for a 2nd year in a row!

We also loved the FulcrumGT stand – it had a huge presence.

Most of all though, thank you to everyone who came to see Workshare and spent time with us. Whether at our CIO dinner, at the opening party, at the Education Hub, at our Demo Room, or on the stand…we have amazing long-term relationships forged at ILTACON that we truly value.

Disruption aside, ILTACON remains an important, enjoyable opportunity to share the latest thinking, concerns, and innovations with colleagues across the legal technology industry.

So it's goodbye, but only for now.

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