Adopting New Technology: Navigating the Journey

8 min read

Discover the keys to successful technology adoption in the legal sector with our guest writer Karen Tuschak, as she shares valuable insights from her extensive experience at Spider Silk Solutions.

Technology alone is not the solution.  What really matters is how widely and how well the technology tools are adopted.  

Over 25 years ago, while working on the implementation of a new legal entity management platform, I was asked to present at a User Group Forum for a technology company. The topic – “You Bought It – Now What?”  Little did I know at that time that the successful implementation and adoption of technology would become the major focus of Spider Silk Solutions over 2 decades later.  

While much has changed over the past 20 years, the question of how to effectively adopt new technology remains at the forefront of the minds of law firms and legal departments.  The use of technology around the world is ubiquitous yet the adoption of the technology is less than flawless.   Organizations never properly retire legacy technology and therefore the adoption of new technology is fraught with issues of non-compliance. 

Adoption is difficult as the rate of technology change moves at a greater speed than the time it takes for a human to adapt to new technology.   Choosing the right solution and completing a successful implementation of a new technology platform is only the first step in the process as change management and adoption must continue long after the new technology is introduced. 

“45.6% of employees experience information overload during a change and 35.6% face challenges adopting to new digital trends and emerging technologies” (Gartner).  These statistics clearly demonstrate that the human side of the technology equation is extremely important. 

This article examines the key factors necessary for a firm to successfully implement and adopt new technology. 


When planning for the successful adoption of technology, the “why “or reason the technology was procured in the first place is critical.  Just as important, is the involvement of the key stakeholders, the need to build a community of technology champions, the ability to think ahead of what critical people may say and collecting feedback during the process.  Historically, the implementation was run by IT groups as there was a great deal of work that needed to be done at the infrastructure level to ensure that the systems were maintained and working effectively in conjunction with other technology.   Today, with the growing movement to cloud-based solutions, it is the law firm leaders, knowledge and innovation teams and the ultimate technology users that are heavily involved in both decision-making and the adoption of the software.  This ensures that roles, responsibilities and the creation of new processes and workflows are created around the technology to ensure its continued adoption.    


Communication and collaboration are key to successful adoption.  Often lawyers understand the why but not the how.   Communication cannot end once the new technology is rolled-out but must continue for the life of the software.   It is imperative to ensure that the importance of the use of the technology is consistently recognized by leadership so that the commitment to it is entrenched into the fabric of the firm.   


The human side to the adoption of technology is paramount to the success.   Firms need technology champions who believe in the value of the technology and while these individuals used to be in the IT department, they are now imbedded in the practice groups.  These individuals are invested in the success of the adoption of the technology and provide constant feedback to the users and technology partner.   These technology champions will also work with the technology partner on beta testing or piloting new features as they are released.  One of their most important roles is to act as a leader, mentor and guide to users who need help with the software. 


The hybrid work environment adds another layer as technology learning has become less formal as employees are scattered in different locations.  Like the hybrid work environment, technology training needs to be adapted for this new regime.    

Different employees have different learning styles so to reach the most individuals in law firms or in-house legal departments, you need to offer different methods of adoption learning: 

  • Training led in-person by an instructor who can lead discussions, respond to questions, and interact with the users 
  • Quick guides which are available as reference materials 
  • Short videos 
  • Frequently asked questions 

Employing different learning tools helps you to reach the largest amount of people and have the best chance of successfully adopting the technology.  It is important to continue to engage with the users and to have on-going open communication to ensure that feedback is received and acted upon.  This will help in developing a plan to continue the adoption of technology for the long term. 

In addition to the differing training methods; as important, are the different methods of helping new users with the adoption and change management process.   Some of these methods are as follows: 

  • Training technology champions first 
  • Offering white glove service 
  • Having self-service options available 
  • Regular office hours for users to attend and ask questions 


It is important to perform health checks and ensure that processes are being followed and are still relevant so that the adoption of the technology continues to grow over time.   With new technology being in the cloud, any updates or the introduction of new and enhanced features often come fast and furious and organizations need to make sure that they are properly equipped to keep up-to-date and adjust their processes accordingly to take advantage of the new features.  This can be accomplished by meeting with the technology champions, additional training, and the engagement of all users.   

The adoption of technology also relies on the solutions ability to make the life of the users easier.   It needs to be agile and efficient and make sense to the work that the individual is doing.   It does not have to work the exact way that the legacy systems did, but it must provide the users with, at the least, the functionality they previously had.   


The relationship with the technology company that you are partnering with is equally important.  For the project to be a success it truly is a partnership between the technology company and the organization.   The relationship must be built on transparency and understanding to meet the ultimate goals of each party, and the relationship must continue to evolve past the launch date of the software.  This makes it extremely important to recognize that when you are choosing the technology, you are also choosing the company behind the technology.   They are your partners in achieving the goals that were set out when you made the decision to purchase the technology. 



  • Effective leadership role modeling plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of technology, as it sets a positive example for employees to follow, encourages buy-in and adoption, and fosters a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. 
  • Recognize those who are leaders in the adoption process. The constant encouragement and positive reinforcement of executives, managers and all users of the technology is essential. 
  • Recognize the time it will take for the current users to embrace the new technology while still completing their day-to-day work and be mindful of this. 


  • Promote the problem that the new technology solves and why the organization is implementing it.   This is important both in the initial communication announcing that the organization is moving to new technology and throughout the adoption.   It is always important to not lose sight of the “Why”. 


  • Celebrate milestones with the full team throughout the adoption process. 
  • Provide rewards and recognition for employees during a technology implementation project. This is important to incentivize and motivate them to adopt new practices, increase engagement, and boost morale, ultimately leading to a more successful and efficient implementation. 
  • Find quick wins in the technology adoption to keep users engaged and motivated. 


  • Focus on staff training and the different training that needs to be held through the life of the technology and use a phased approach to get the best retention. 
  • Provide personal training, when necessary. 
  • Update onboarding procedures to make sure that training is provided to new users by one of your technology champions. 


  • Keep up to date on enhancements to the technology so that you are continuously adopting the new functionality that is being released. 
  • Audit the usage of the new technology to be able to identify any issues at an early stage. 


  • Remember that the technology company that you are working with is your partner in helping you reach your firm goals through innovation and technology! 
  • Work with a solutions provider (“Spider Silk Solutions”) – they are experts in adoption and can ease the stress on your team.  

Of course, adopting new technology can also come with its challenges. It can be difficult to learn new skills or adapt to new workflows. However, it is important to remember that the benefits of new technology often outweigh the challenges. So, while adopting new technology can be intimidating, remember: every great invention was once new and untested.


About Karen

Karen Tuschak is the Founder and CEO of Spider Silk Innovative Solutions Inc. (“Spider Silk Solutions”). Throughout Karen’s over 30 years of working in the legal industry, she has always been on the forefront of implementing cutting edge technology with an emphasis on ongoing adoption and enhancement of the technology. Having worked on both the in-house client and law firm sides, she has broad experience from national law firms managing in-house paraprofessional teams as well as a strong knowledge of complex technology and governance projects from her previous national role in business development.

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