As always, we had a wonderful time at ILTACON, and it was so nice to connect with current customers and partners and even some new faces! We had a lot of fun at our photo booth and we are already thinking of fun ideas for next year’s opening reception.
ILTACON 2016 was highly focused on 21st-century technology. Topics like cloud storage, artificial intelligence, and security and information governance were hot this year. Cloud has been on an upward trend for a few years now, and we don’t expect that to stop anytime soon. More law firms and legal departments are embracing the use of cloud technologies, but of course, cloud storage is one of the reasons for security and IG being hot topics too. With more firms and departments moving their unstructured data to cloud servers, there is a certain level of security concerns that come up before they decide to make the move. Luckily, ILTACON had plenty of sessions that tackled security issues, cloud, and even mobility in the legal market. Hybrid cloud solutions are becoming more popular among those who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge.
Artificial intelligence deserves its own little section as it was a talked about subject each of the four days of the conference. The most recent Peer-to-Peer, an ILTA publication, was also AI centric. Not only is AI going to change how lawyers, paralegals, and firms go about their day-to-day and case construction, but it is also going to change how we do things across the world. Some may think of human-like robots when AI is mentioned, but the reality of it is that there are different levels of AI. We already use AI in everyday life, such as robotics in manufacturing, and things like Cortana, Siri, and Alexa. But what is exciting, and being developed quickly, is the level of AI that involves machine learning and natural language processing. Machines can now learn how we, as humans, communicate with one another, how to answer questions about particular subjects, and how to research or seek answers. As a matter of fact, they are creating children’s toys now with built-in AI. The next generation may even expect to use AI in their professional careers as it will become second nature to utilize AI as a tool. In legal specifically, AI will be extremely useful in e-discovery, contract analysis, legal research, prediction, and knowledge automation.
There were also a couple sessions about “change” and how to manage a changing work environment. In addition, there was a particular session about how to get Millennials, Baby-boomers, and Gen X to all work together. These different generations tend to solve problems and communicate differently, so this session tackled those different approaches and illustrated how to embrace the different ways of thinking. An example that they used in the session to illustrate these differences was to ask the audience “What would you do if your GPS wasn’t working correctly and you were relying on it to get somewhere?” It was interesting to hear Baby-boomers’ answers versus Millennials’ answers. Boomers would answer along the lines of, “I have lived most of my life without a GPS, so I will get out a map and do it the original way. Or I can always ask for directions.” On the other hand, a Millennial would answer with, “I can pull over and figure out how to fix it.” Gen X would generally fall somewhere in the middle of these answers with some sort of combination of the two. This session was important because it is predicted that by 2020, in just 4 years, millennials will make up 59% of the global workforce. That leaves 41% for Boomers and Gen X. Talk about a change in ways that problems will be addressed and solved in the future.
In all, ILTACON is always a great resource for lawyers and firms to get comfortable with the technology of tomorrow, and it is a great way for us to showcase what we can do, what is in the pipeline, and what we are looking forward to in the future! We are also pleased to announce that Lisa Mayo, from Ballard Spahr, was our Amazon Echo winner! Congrats Lisa! We hope to be in touch with you soon!