There is no question that technology is advancing at a rapid pace. New technologies emerge almost daily to solve problems, create change and challenge the way we think about work. The Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 outlines concepts that have the potential to result in significant disruption and opportunities over the next five years. While the list is full of technologies that might have seemed straight out of a sci-fi movie several years back, it’s clear that they're now a part of our everyday lives and will most definitely change our world.

As we look through the top 10 list, one trend seemed especially relevant to the legal industry: smart spaces. According to Gartner, “A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems.” So why should lawyers and legal technologists pay attention to this trend? The answer is simple—to meet client expectations.

Smart spaces for better client relationships

Client expectations have evolved and clients are now demanding that firms implement technology to not only work collaboratively, but also to be more efficient, transparent and agile. By implementing virtual data rooms, deal rooms, file sharing, extranets, intranets, portals, project management and workflow software, the legal world has been pioneering smart spaces well before it ever made the trend list. At HighQ, we see our clients creating dynamic smart spaces every day.

Legal smart spaces in action

CMS, a top-tier global law firm with more than 70 offices worldwide, recently developed and delivered a new approach they call CMS Mix. This strategy identifies the right people, processes and technology to solve a particular issue for a client. CMS Mix is an excellent example of a legal smart space. It checks off every key dimension of a smart space as outlined by Gartner: openness, connectedness, coordination, intelligence and scope.

Openness: The entire process was transparent from the start—it had to be in order to meet a very tight deadline.

Connectedness: CMS integrated multiple technologies and dispersed resources across the world into a seamless, unified framework.

Coordination: Meeting the quick deadlines required impeccable legal project management and communication.

Intelligence: A major aspect of the transaction was triaging contracts and quickly uncovering and understanding the complex data inside them.

Scope: The team crafted a focused solution designed specifically for this project to deliver the most efficient and effective service possible.

John Craske, head of legal service design and delivery explains, “The challenge for all law firms isn’t so much getting access to these new tools as it is developing deep knowledge of what they can do for you and how they can bring practical benefits to our clients. At CMS, we are building an ecosystem around our tools—supporting people with the practicalities of using a platform like HighQ, but also educating them on the range of use cases.”

Check out the CMS case study to learn more about CMS Mix and what benefits they have realized from deploying their smart space.

If you want to learn more about how smart spaces and legal tech are being used to transform the way the legal industry works, you might want to check out our latest ebook, Smart spaces: The next frontier for legal tech. In it, you will discover exactly how smart spaces address the needs of law firms and corporate legal departments. You’ll also gain insights about the “ideal state” for bringing the two worlds of smart spaces and legal tech together in addition to getting a road map for success and sustainability.