This post was written by Bob Schukai, global head of mobile technology, Thomson Reuters
 
While smartphone penetration in the USA has now just exceeded 50%, we know that its usage within the legal profession runs higher than 90%. Blackberries, iPhones, and iPads are regular tools that legal professionals use to stay connected and informed whilst away from the office. While email is the most common usage of these devices, without question the mobile device enables changes and opportunities that impact workflow.
 
To illustrate some of these changes, let’s take a look at a couple of pictures that surely everyone in the legal profession can relate to:
Black’s Law Dictionary

And now compare that to the following:

Black’s Law Dictionary for iOS
 
WestlawNext for iPad

The mere fact that we’ve been able to digitize so much information, make it searchable, and organize it the way we want speaks to the degree in which mobile technology is making a tremendous impact on how legal professionals do their job. The benefit of mobile to professionals and its impact on workflow boils down to the two key roles mobile plays: it is personal, and it is contextual. When I do a search in WestlawNext, that search is specific to what I want to see – not what my colleague or my opposition is looking for – but what I want. When I organize my content in preparation for a case – whether doing it at my desk, on a lunch break, or from the comfort of my bed at night, I am using the power of technology to create the story I want to tell.

The workflow experience is also contextual. What this means is that the technology resident in a mobile device enables professionals to be more effective and efficient in their day. It can be as simple as using the navigation function on a device to get from one place to another to meet a client. It can be as relevant as setting up an application to deliver very specific pieces of news information that are of interest specifically to me – as I do with the Zite news application.

Mobile is truly revolutionizing the way that professionals work and stay informed, and the products, services, and user experiences we are providing at Thomson Reuters are designed to recognize the shifting change in workflow to meet the demands of a much more mobile workforce.