Regulation & Government

Technology usage in firms grows 87%, SRA reveals

The vast majority of firms (90%), regardless of size or sector, reported that changes made to help them deliver services during the Covid pandemic were now here to stay

An independent study has found that the use of some existing technology has “soared” over the last 18 months, with 87% of firms now using video conferencing to meet clients and two-thirds (66%) storing data in the cloud, according to Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Furthermore, the vast majority of firms (90%), regardless of size or sector, reported that changes made to help them deliver services during the Covid pandemic were now here to stay.

The research carried out by the University of Oxford also found that issues relating to funding and scalability meant that most bespoke development among technology companies was focused on products for the corporate sector.

Anna Bradley, chair of the SRA, said: “Supporting innovation and the adoption of legal technology is a key priority, as we set out in our corporate strategy. It can help increase access to justice for the public and small businesses, as well as supporting firms to be more efficient, benefiting everyone and the economy as a whole.

“These findings drive home the fact that when we talk about technology, we need to remember just how broad that term is and how far there is for some to travel. This is not just about artificial intelligence, virtual reality or future technologies.”

Mari Sako, professor of management studies at the University of Oxford and project leader for this research, added: “Technology and innovation have already changed, and will continue to change, the face of the legal services sector. Our research provides robust evidence of this.

“Regulators, including the SRA, collaborating with other stakeholders could play a major role, not only to lower regulatory uncertainty but also to level the playing field across the market segments.”

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