Leading Australian law firm accelerates innovation capability through migration to OutSystems
“We pride ourselves on embracing new technologies and developing solutions that help us push boundaries and deliver real value for our clients. Our 2022 strategy challenged us to accelerate our innovation efforts and we needed to ensure we had the right platforms and systems in place to support this.”
– Chief Innovation & Legal Solutions Officer, Allens
10 legacy applications
Allens needed a way to sustainably scale existing solutions
With nearly 200 years’ experience helping clients solve their toughest challenges, innovation has always been a part of the firm’s DNA.
In 2020, the challenge for Allens’ Innovation and Digital Solutions team was how to keep pace with changing client needs, scaling out existing solutions in a robust way and still continuing to triage the stream of new ideas coming from its lawyers. Allens on-boarded OutSystems and commenced working with DB Results to migrate 10 key legal practice-efficiency applications from a legacy system in order to increase scalability and improve the user experience.
The Allens developers were excited to test the OutSystems platform capabilities by building out three existing applications during the trial. Working together with DB Results meant the small team of developers could rapidly upskill in using the OutSystems platform, with DB Results also assisting in the design and build of the more complex components.
Allens conducted user testing with a group from both the legal and corporate services side of the business, some with previous experience of the applications and some without. An overwhelming majority (91%) of the group preferred the user experience of the new OutSystems applications.
“OutSystems feels more like a modern, consumer cloud platform than an ancient enterprise system” – user testing quote
These conclusive results made it an easy decision to transition to OutSystems. Allens set an ambitious target of migrating over 10 legacy applications inside a three-month window before they would need to exit the legacy platform. Working alongside DB Results meant greater flexibility in offering technical resources on-demand to supplement the small development team come crunch time.
Allens has successfully migrated all of the production applications and a number of smaller MVPs and prototypes to OutSystems.
Previously, Allens had to dedicate a team member almost solely to support and maintain a solution, for only two clients, to triage and manage instructions from start to finish. Although it significantly reduced lawyer time, there was a reluctance to scale the solution to other clients because of the significant support required. Since the migration to OutSystems, support requirements have dropped to less than half a day per week, with most of that time focussed on future improvements. The firm is already working on rolling out the solution to new clients.
For a dedicated innovation team servicing a large law firm, freeing up resources in this way has been a game-changer. Before the transition, the team had a portfolio of 40+ initiatives at various stages of the product lifecycle, including 15 in the backlog waiting for capacity to get started. This has since shifted. With 21 of those initiatives now complete, it has freed up resources to continue to progress the pipeline of high-value initiatives and assess the stream of new ideas coming through – five in the last month alone.
Since the migration, the firm has been able to leverage OutSystems to increase the speed and quality of its lean experimentation approach to legal service innovation. This approach allows new product ideas to be quickly assessed for feasibility, desirability and viability – ensuring the best ideas are prioritised.
There has been real engagement and enthusiasm from stakeholders when presented with the modern look and feel that is at the core of OutSystems applications. Even more so when prototypes can be delivered within days, and the timeframes to deliver on MVPs are measured in weeks, not months.
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