By Natik Mamedov (Member of the New York State Bar).
Digital innovation and information technology and communications have found revolutionary applications in commercial and B2B transactions. In today’s business environment, however, information (and digital) technology becomes a powerful opportunity to challenge and change the traditional legal marketplace and the way public services (including health and social care, welfare, education, legal and regulatory compliance) practices operate these days. Application of new technologies has already boosted the emergence of institutionally innovative forms of e-government services that enable digital interactions between a government and citizens, government and businesses, government and employees and between various governmental agencies. The application of new technologies is changing the public sector services landscape fuelled by initiatives such as the creation of the Government Digital Service in the UK, for example, and various smart cities projects, boosting innovation and creation of ecosystems.
In the context of the emerging but challenging alternative marketplaces (including the one for legal services), the application of new technologies has resulted in creation of many products and services such as e-discovery, on-site legal resourcing providing for crowd-sourced services, software-based contract and document management and messaging tools, contract automation services which have made a tremendous impact in unbundling of certain legal services. Yet, many emerging technologies remain untested within these potentially new untapped markets. These include the use of emerging new technologies – cloud computing, big data and analytics (data/text mining), machine to machine, the Internet of Things, mobile apps, social media and open platforms – in legal and public sector services, particularly in the context of and in furtherance of the smart city projects all over the world. As the need for quality and cost efficiency in the provision of the legal sector services continues to rise, new innovative services and market strategies continue to emerge and gain momentum in the coming years. To name just a few, it is the emerging digital marketplace – an online platforms providing for a transparent, simple, easy and cost effective way to finding legal experts online through a competitive bidding.