Legal AI and PropTech company, Leverton, which recently became part of conglomerate MRI, has found in a survey of 100 participants that the top three reasons for deploying AI and other types of automated solution were: to save money, support data analysis, and to gain competitive advantage.
The survey covered a range of sectors, not just legal, and also looked at not just doc review, but a range of applications that covered areas including voice analysis and RPA (robotic process automation).
As seen below in the first table, on average the main reasons for deploying this type of tech were split fairly evenly between: cost savings, data insight, and hopefully gaining some kind of advantage versus competitors. Saving time came next, with a small number hoping to reduce employee headcount.
However, the group Leverton classed as ‘the leaders’, i.e. most driven to adopt new tech, were far more focused on money saving than anything else, while very few were looking at reducing staff through the use of automation. This perhaps reflects a more developed approach to AI tools, as well as more experience with them, for example, not seeing AI tech as a way to cut staff.
That said, the Lookers group, those who were more likely to be focused on pilots and figuring out if AI tech was for them – did see staff reduction as a driver, with around 25% of this group seeing it as a reason. For the Leaders group, this was closer to 5%.
Another section of the research – and which should make interesting reading for the legal AI vendors in the market, if not all legal tech companies – was that the number one factor that mattered to buyers was ‘the vendor has a reputation for excellent customer service’, with around 45% of people saying this was ‘extremely important’. (See table 2).
This is especially interesting given that some tech companies understandably would like their customers to have a more self-sufficient approach, where they only have to offer a small amount of support.
Providing plenty of customer service staff adds to the cost model of tech businesses – and it reflects the fact that many buyers are not yet comfortable with the idea of just buying an AI solution and handling all of its implementation issues by themselves.
Interestingly, the second ‘extremely important’ issue was that the vendor is focused on your sector, and is not offering a generic solution. This makes sense especially for those customers looking at text-based solutions, given that legalese, for example, is very different to general language.
Commenting on the results, Abhinav Somani, former CEO of LEVERTON and current VP and Industry Principal of AI and Occupier Solutions at MRI Software, said: ‘Enterprises today know that to be successful in the future they need to have a plan for leveraging artificial intelligence. They may not, however, be sure how to ensure their foray into AI is as successful as it can be.’