ILTA 2013 – The Catalyst kicked off this morning in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, with a dynamic keynote speech by Scott Klososky, founder of technology consulting firm Future Point of Work. Klososky’s keynote, titled “Technology, Trends and the Catalytic Impacts on Law Firms,” was centered around what he believes is really going to impact law firms over the next three to five years, mainly “Technology Darwinism,” where the pace of change in the industry is faster than the speed people will adopt to it, resulting in technology risk gap. He said that firms need to get real about “technology mastery.” In other words, they need to know how to adapt to new technology so their business can reach new heights of success.

In a case study that Klososky cited, he showcased how technology effected the book publishing industry. Specifically, he mentioned the outliers that came from outside the book publishing industry to completely change the industry itself. For example, Amazon released the kindle, and Barnes & Noble released the Nook to support new technologies in the industry. Borders was not so lucky, however, considering that the company is no longer in business since they only sold books, movies and music and never adapted to the new technologies to support them. Technology mastery can be summed up as “the development of a personal, or collective, ability to apply technology tools in a world class manner,” according to Klososky.

So how does a company achieve technology mastery? According to Klososky, it needs to:
1) focus on three to five technology guideposts to excel at in order to beat the competitor(s)
2) have an adaptive culture where people can adapt to new technology and tools (cultural alchemy)
3) have an excellent technology team on staff
4) have processes in place, since process makes success repeatable.

Klososky ended his keynote by talking about what the future holds for technology. Where Web 2.0 was about connecting people and Web 3.0 connecting devices, Web 4.0 will be about connecting knowledge systems, and Web 5.0 will be about connecting people and technology, a term Klososky coins “humalogy.” It was an energetic and though-provoking keynote to begin the day.

There were several small sessions throughout the day as well, including “Using the Cloud Responsibly,” where two perspectives of cloud computing were offered: one from a practicing attorney and one from an IT manager, and both incredibly similar. The crowd was warned to do their research before storing data in a cloud, be careful of “free” providers (since there really are no free providers), and constantly check on their data in the cloud.

Another interesting session was called “Making Moves: Using the Right Technology to Stay Ahead of the Game.” Two CIOs at different law firms discussed surviving the waters of change by correctly placing emerging technologies within data centers.

And of course representatives from Thomson Reuters Elite and Hosted Practice Technologies were on hand to give demos of the new Case Logistix 6.0 and Business Development Premier. If you are attending ILTA this week, make sure to stop of the reception booths outside the Thomson Reuters demo areas to sign up for a free demo. And don’t forget to visit us in the Exhibitor Hall at booths 416,418,420, 317, 319 and 321. Watch for more coverage of ILTA 2013 throughout the week.