Adopting new technology always feels like a double-edged sword. Sure, you gain new functionality or new efficiencies—or at least that’s what you hope for when you add a new tool. But while you’re waiting for those new features and time savings to kick in, you’re stuck struggling to learn a new system, falling back into (and clawing your way out of) your familiar patterns, and calling product support or IT to help you untangle whatever mess you’ve made.
Fortunately, there are new technologies that slot invisibly into your existing tech stack, bringing the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to legacy software systems like timekeeping, email and document management, and drafting solutions.
These “invisible layers” of technology provide five key benefits.
You won’t need to get used to a new screen layout, option menu, or command sequence, because your user interface doesn’t change when you add an intelligent layer system. As we say, the best user interface is no interface at all. These smart systems work with existing tools to make them work better, but they don’t have their own standalone user interface. Because you don’t interact with them directly, there’s no change in your user experience. Instead, you’ll see the same user interface as ever and interact with it the same way as ever.
Because your core tools and your user interfaces don’t change, your workflow also doesn’t change. Keep doing things the same way you’re used to doing them—but as you do, expect to start seeing intelligent insights or aggregated data points showing up. That’s what the invisible layer of technology is adding behind the scenes. It just doesn’t need you to do anything differently for it to work.
This is probably obvious, but if your interface doesn’t change and your workflow doesn’t change, then there’s no change you need to actively manage. Skip the lengthy product demos, the how-to sessions, and the rah-rah motivational speeches about why this change is going to be different and better. Just keep using your existing tech stack in the same way you usually would and watch as your legacy systems suddenly become smarter—and then continue to improve as they observe and learn from the way you already work.
One of the most frustrating things about adopting new software is the way it slows down your work patterns as you learn a new way of working or a new way of deploying a feature. You’re used to banging through your to-do list quickly and efficiently, but when there’s a new step in your workflow or a new component you have to figure out how to use, everything just takes longer. In this case, though, the inverse holds equally true: there’s no new step in your workflow and no new software to learn, so your work won’t slow down. Rather, the more you use your tools, the faster you’ll get as the intelligent system learns how you work and filters ever-better data and insights back into those legacy systems.
We’re not knocking IT—they’re a hard-working crew—but IT departments can become a bottleneck when organizations are caught in the throes of a typical change management campaign. Every time users run into a problem that they can’t fix themselves, they have to call IT and wait for someone to be available to walk them through a solution. That slows down the users’ experience and prevents IT from doing their regular work. Again, though, when there’s no change in user experience or workflow, users don’t experience the kind of problems that require IT to unpick. That means IT is free to do the rest of its job and continue to respond promptly to routine issues.
If you’d like to see one of these intelligent layer systems in action, check out our webinar about ZERO Apollo. Apollo isn’t a timekeeping solution itself, but it works with legacy timekeeping systems like iTimekeep and Intapp Time to invisibly add a layer of AI. While lawyers and legal professionals go through their normal workday, Apollo runs in the background, predicting the client and matter for each new task and type of work while automatically tracking time and creating billing narratives for review and approval. There’s no change in user interface or workflow, so there’s no need for change management, no work slowdown, and no IT bottlenecks.
Contact us to learn more and schedule a meeting.