On this week’s Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast, we’re joined by Heinan Landa, Founder, and CEO of Optimal Networks, Inc., a globally ranked IT services firm. After earning his BS and MS in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Heinan went on to receive his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Featured in Legal Management, Legal Times, Chief Executive Inc. Magazine, Forbes, CIO, and with regular appearances on WJLA-TV, WTTG-TV, and WUSA9, Heinan is a trusted leader in the legal technology and business spaces.
We chatted with Heinan about all things tech for the legal industry, particularly the changes in law firm tech he has been observing since the global pandemic began.
Heinan says, “During the first month or two of the lock-down, we had a lot of very quick implementations of Teams, Slack, and Zoom. Following that was a lot of discussion on taking a firm’s culture into the digital world to make people feel connected to their co-workers because that’s what people were missing the most. Operationally, they were good: they were able to work on documents, they could call clients, they could do whatever they needed to do. But, it was all of a sudden this feeling of being disconnected from their teammates that they needed. That became the big topic of discussion.”
We also discussed:
- Heinan’s book, The Modern Law Firm: How to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Technological Change
- Transitioning the culture of your firm into a digital space
- The security issues that arise from distributed team members working from home
- The importance of a reliable IT team to your firm
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
- Optimal Networks’ Site
- 30-Minute Security Awareness Training
- Heiman’s Book
- Technology Assessment
- The Wealthy Woman Lawyer League
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to The Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast. We believe all women lawyers deserve to be wealthy women lawyers. Our mission is to provide thought-provoking powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth-generating law firm without overwork or overwhelm so you can live your best life. I’m your host, Davina Fredrick, and I’m so excited for you to meet our guest today. So let’s get started. I’m here today with Heinan Landa founder and CEO of Optimal Networks Inc, a globally ranked IT services firm. After earning his BS and MS in electrical engineering and computer science from Johns Hopkins University, Heinan went on to receive his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He’s been featured in Legal Management, Legal Times, Chief Executive, Inc Magazine, Forbes, CIO, and had regular appearances on WJLA TV, WTTG TV, and WUSA 9. Heinan is a trusted leader in legal technology and business spaces. So welcome, and I’m so glad you’re here. We’re really excited to have you on The Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast.
Heinan Landa: Oh my gosh, I’m blushing now. I don’t know if you could see me. But um,
Davina: Oh, good, good, well, then we’re off to the right start. We’re sitting here naming all of your appearances and places that you have been featured. And that is quite a list. So I want you to know we’re dealing with a real expert in technology, which is what we need. Technology can be so frustrating for a lot of people. So I want to give people some context. And if you could tell us about your journey to being the Founder of Optimal Networks, and why you felt that that was important for you to create.
Heinan: My journey was probably very different. I came from a home where my parents had started their own business. And it was a very high tech type of business. And my mom went to work with my dad on the business, and they co-owned it, and they co-ran it. And so 24-7 as I was growing up, it was all about the business. And I got a lot of entrepreneurial spirit from that if that makes sense. So I wanted to go to business school. And I was immediately rebuffed. And my mom said, under no circumstance, will you go to business school without having a profession. So she made me get Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degrees from Hopkins. And then I got my wish. I got to go to Wharton, where I actually went through the entrepreneurship program there and got to write the business plan for Optimal Networks.
Davina: Wow, wonderful.
Heinan: So that was a long time ago, that was dating myself. Almost 30 years ago, when I started the business, and over time, we realized, you know, once I got my legs under me and figured out what it meant to provide really good and high level IT services. I realized that in the DC area, which is where we’re located, there are–I know you’re shocked–tons and tons and tons of lawyers.
Davina: Shocking, shocking. There are a lot of people there that need lawyers. So that’s why.
Heinan: And it turns out that lawyers are wonderful clients if you are able to provide good service. And since I was always geared towards at sort of a premium Nordstrom’s level service approach that really worked for me, and you’re all wonderful people, you’re smart, you’re capable. And you know, you’re doing good in the world. And I love that. And the fact is you’re very conservative about technology. So I’ve sort of made it a bit of a mission to move this entire community forward a little bit in technology. And I actually summed it all up in a book that I launched during this whole COVID thing called The Modern Law Firm: How to Thrive In An Era of Rapid Technological Change.
Davina: We definitely want to know where to find that.
Heinan: It actually hit Amazon number one bestseller which floored me.
Davina: Oh, wonderful.
Heinan: But you know, the thing is that technology is changing so fast. And I thought I would be spending a lot of time talking about what exponential growth and exponential change means. But apparently, the Coronavirus did this for me. And I don’t have to explain it anymore.
So that’s where I am today is trying to make sure that law firms are really using technology well, to attract clients, retain clients, provide good service, have better operations, you know, make more money all the above?
Davina: So this opens up a whole lot of follow up questions for me. I actually worked in a law firm in the 90s, as well. So there you go. Now that should make you feel better. I was in marketing at the time, before I became an attorney. And I worked in a large law firm. And then I worked in an agency after that. And just to give context to people who maybe weren’t around in the 90s certainly weren’t in the world in the 90s. I worked for a Boston engineering firm before I went to the law firm, who didn’t understand why we needed a fax machine for the engineering firm, which had 100 people, and so they finally got a fax machine.
So this is, this is kind of what was going on at the beginning of the end of the 80s at the end of the 80s. A lot of law firms, understandably, even throughout the 90s, were still doing things on paper and not as much on computers. So, and the legal industry is typically just very slow to change. It’s very traditional, and it’s slow to move. And so what we’ve been seeing is kind of an interesting phenomenon with this COVID19 pandemic, is the need to move very quickly. What did you experience with law firms? Maybe who weren’t yet your clients? Or who’s been your clients? Who was kind of slow to adopt change? And, and what was it like for them when this pandemic hit and suddenly, now we’re having to reimagine how we’re going to get work done in our business.
Heinan: So we, we had a very interesting experience, I would say, on the whole, the pandemic proved to the law firm community that they could move, and they could move quickly. And some, you know, some faltered, but they got their legs underneath them, and they started being able to do work remotely. Some of the huge law firms that I know about, they did it and all of a sudden, they have partners saying, “Oh, it’s fun to work here from home, you know, this is working. I don’t miss dressing up in a three-piece suit.” So I think that this really proved to the law firm, to law firms and lawyers everywhere that this is definitely possible. They could move quickly, and they could adapt and make things happen. I will tell you that I was especially lucky with our clients, because we had been talking mobility with our clients for years, and helping them come up with good strategies for that. We have a lot of clients in our virtual desktop solutions. And so from a technology point of view, they picked up and they went home and they didn’t think twice. That was the least of their worries, was the technology piece. Which was wonderful for me, I can’t speak to my competitors.
But what they begin to wonder and worry about was how to communicate with each other being sort of disparate, right? So if you have a law firm of, I don’t know, 10 20, 30 people, and they’re all sitting in one office, and then all of a sudden, they all pick up and go home, and they’re all in 20 or 30 different offices, in essence, how do they communicate better together? So so we had a lot of very quick implementations of Microsoft Teams and Slack and, Zoom. So that was like the first month or two months of the lockdown, and then following that was a lot of discussion on how do we take our firm culture, whatever that culture is that we had in our office, how do we take that culture and bring it into the digital world to make people feel connected? Because that was really what people were missing the most is how to connect with their coworkers. Because operationally they were good, right? They were able to work on the documents. They could call the clients they could do whatever they needed to do. But it was all of a sudden this feeling of being disconnected from their teammates that, they needed. So that became the big topic of discussion.
Davina: So what are some of the ways that you helped solve that for them?
Heinan: I don’t know how much we did as much as they did themselves. Because it’s a pretty expansive topic. We were able to run some webinars, both for the local ALA and for the ABA, to talk about the different ways of doing it. And, you know, it’s really a question of identifying your culture, looking at what it was, because one thing you’re not going to do is change your culture overnight. So if you have a difficult culture, if you will, you’re not suddenly when you go digital going to have like a benevolent culture. Right.
Davina: All right.
Heinan: So you have to be realistic and say, all right, what is my culture? And then you sort of look at all the things that made it up, like you have to do a little bit of journey of discovery. So for example, in my office, our kitchen is a big deal. We invested. In fact, we just had our office redone right before COVID. I mean, seriously, and, and we doubled the size of our kitchen, right? Because we love our kitchen, and we do Friday morning breakfasts, and we have our all-company meetings there. And you know, it’s really wonderful.
We work from home and it’s gone. There is no company kitchen. Right? So so how do we duplicate that? So it’s almost a process of saying, “What are the elements that make up our culture? What happens around the water cooler? What happens when you bump into someone else’s office for a few minutes?” And being intentional about moving that digitally? And say, “All right, now we have a Slack channel or a Team’s channel, and we’re gonna call it “kitchen,” you guys go have fun in that kitchen. You know, we might have a virtual Friday morning breakfast every other week to sort of makeup for and let people come in and say hello to their friends, right now on Zoom or something. I can’t really bop into someone’s office. But I can say that, on Fridays from noon to one o’clock, I’ll be in my Zoom Room. And you can jump in anytime. And it’ll be like office hours if you will.
You have to make it very intentional. And you have to be willing to experiment because this is the other thing I found is that some firms tried to just set it and forget it, and say, “Hey, every Tuesday, we’re going to do a virtual lunch and everyone comes in.” That got boring really fast. And people were sick of the Zoom meetings, and they had video fatigue or didn’t want to see their friends. You have to experiment and change and maybe do a happy hour, one time and a formal company meeting another time.
Davina: That’s a really interesting aspect of technology and human behavior. That’s something I think I know, with a lot of law firms, the reason solo attorneys say “Oh, you know, I really want to bring in a partner is that it is a solo dream, to be on staff, and get to be very lonely and isolated, and you want somebody that you can, if you’ve ever worked in a firm, you know what it’s like to be able just to walk down and bounce ideas off another attorney about your case, and get a different perspective about the strategy. And when you’re working on your own, you don’t have that. So now this is happening in firms where people are accustomed to having that, and now they’re distributed, and they’re not having just that, “Hey, what do you what do you think about this?” conversation. Now, they have to schedule it and it has to be more formal.
Heinan: It’s with the partners, it’s with the staff and the paralegals and you’re used to a buzz in the office. There’s an energy and that disappears when you go all-digital, and you have to intentionally bring it back. And if you do that, it works. It works. It does work. It’s not as nice as it is in person. And I’m sure we’ll all go back to some level of in-person and that’s a whole other conversation. But there’s a piece of it and, and look, there’s a financial ramification here.
I’m just gonna put it out there that you want to keep, you know, as the owner of a law firm, and it does not matter what size, you want to keep your folks engaged and connected to the firm. Because the turnover costs a lot of money. I have a statistic in front of me, but it is enormous. It’s either 50% of a person’s salary or something, something along those lines, it is all the information you lose, all the knowledge you lose, and all the operations and the damage to your reputation with the clients when you have turnover. So when people leave you, it doesn’t matter who really in your organization, if they’re effective and productive, and they’re a performer, you want to keep them connected because there’s a financial ramification of them leaving.
And so all this culture talk, it sounds soft, but it really has a hard cash bottom line of high of how important it is to keep that sense of firm and connectedness because if people get disengaged, they leave. And now, I’m sorry, I’ll throw something else to slightly scare you. It doesn’t matter where you live anymore. You can work anywhere. I’m sitting here in the DC area. If I wanted to work in California, I could sit here in my basement, and I can work in California. So the job market has exploded, in essence, from an availability point of view. So if they don’t feel connected to your firm, the world is their oyster right now.
Davina: Absolutely. Well, and I think so many people are actually seeking opportunities. I know, I tried to, I went through a hiring process recently. And my first attempt was kind of a bust as it turned out, but there is that sense of “How am I going to bring in this new person into our culture”. So when you have a building, and they come there, and they’re with other people, you have other people that are helping you make that person feel welcome, and it doesn’t all fall on you. But when you’re working remotely, you know that then they’re still more connected with what’s going on in their home where they are than what’s going on with you. And it becomes very siloed.
You know, I have I’ve been doing this work for a long time and doing it virtually because my clients are all over the country. And using Zoom, and I love it. And another video, other types of video meetings or anything, but I love video because I’m a people person. So I really like to see people’s faces and you connect on a different level. But I find so many people are really struggling with video because maybe they’re self-conscious about how they look on video when they think people are looking at them funny or whatever, or they just don’t like to engage that want to, you know, type everything. But I think it’s so important, the video component because social media has made it where you could say all kinds of things that you would never say to somebody in person.
And when you float a video camera, you’re much more careful about what you say. So like, we get that feed is something for those of us who grew up without that kind of technology. If you said something mean to a little kid on the playground, you saw the instant look on their face. And it made you feel about this big, you know, and so you just didn’t do that kind of thing. And now we’re seeing with social media, people are, you know, keyboard warriors, and they’re going on it. And so I think it’s very important to talk about company culture and integrating your technology to really think about those kinds of things. Because it’s easy to fly off.
For those of us who’ve come along the path of email, when email first became a thing, before people learned how to work, the tone of an email, you know, don’t hurt feelings. So finding ways to use technology and integrate the culture is definitely key. I want to shift gears a little bit. And I want to talk about a big issue for lawyers, which is security. And that is something that, you know, we are told from the time were you starting law school, we’re constantly reminded that if your team screws up, if they breach some ethical or legal obligation, you are responsible, and you can lose your law license, and that’s where so much fear comes in for lawyers, you know, hiring staff. And that becomes even more of a challenge when you’re talking about distributed workers because now people are in their homes. And there’s confidential data and confidential information. So there’s that aspect of it. There’s another aspect of the security of the systems we’re seeing so much with people all around the world hacking into systems and like ransomware is a huge issue. And I don’t know if you read the article that just came out this week, but there was there’s actually the first person they’re claiming died as a result of a ransomware hack. Somebody was holding a hospital hostage and they couldn’t check in a patient who was critically ill and she died as a result of it.
This was in Germany and a lot of people who aren’t in the tech industry may not realize what ransomware is, and the impact that it has on business, but it can cost businesses, thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars if they’re big enough businesses, and it’s problematic. So when we’re thinking as lawyers about working in a distributed way, I’m sure that’s on the mind. And it’s a concern for a lot of attorneys, with law firms with multiple people. What kinds of things are you recommending to clients that can help them in
Heinan: this way? First, let me scare you some more. I know you. I hate talking about the fear elements of fear, but it’s, um, it’s actually critical to know that, that most of 95% of data breaches that occur, start with a phishing email, believe it or not.
Davina: That’s wonderful to know.
Heinan: Yeah. And, and the, and the way the phishing scammers work is they capitalize on fear, they make fear their middle name, right, so you get an email, your Facebook account has been compromised. Let me click, don’t click, don’t click right. Because they’ve just capitalized on that fear that your Facebook account has been compromised. But if you take that into the current setting, we have a pandemic, they don’t need to capitalize on fear, because fear is already here. And so the fear is here, and boy, they were ready to rock and roll, the number of phishing attacks, since the pandemic has gone up 669%
Davina: Wow, wow, that’s incredible.
Heinan: Just to start with that, and the number of data breaches, I’m losing this statistic I don’t have in front of me, but I think they quadrupled. Also, people’s home networks are not as secure as the office network, they’re just not. Forty-five percent of home networks are already compromised. These are studies that can get you the links and try it with them. This is a huge number.
That means that if you have a few people, if you have gone from your office, where the very least hope you have a firewall protecting your data, right. And, you know, hopefully, you’ve got antivirus anti-spyware, you know, software on your, on your machines. And if you have a server that’s covered, or what have you. And suddenly, people have gone home. And there’s the risk that they don’t have this type of equipment, and definitely, no firewalls sitting around at home, it’s all gone down to consumer-grade. And then you sharing machines with their kids and with their spouses and partners. And then, and you don’t know what those other folks are doing. From a security point of view, very quickly into the pandemic, we have all started freaking out. Yeah, there are two things that you can do really quickly to get yourself in better shape. One of those is a mandate, both for yourself and for all the folks in your firm security awareness training. If you can’t get it formally from your IT provider there are a ton of videos on YouTube.
You know, we provide the training as part of our services, Virtual Desktop Services and our managed IT services for law firms where we’re enrolling our clients in a product called Know Before. That’s one of the industry-leading products, and they have all sorts of training on their site. So that I mean, it’s something to look at, it’s something to be cognizant of anything you can do on the training, it actually reduces your risk of an attack or a breach by 70%.
Davina: Wow, that’s huge. So let’s really dig into this a little bit. First of all, if you own a law firm you this is an area where you really need to be paying attention to and thinking this through. As if you have distributed workers you need to be thinking top priority is your security and securing your clients’ data and that may be providing equipment that is dedicated strictly for work instead of allowing them to use home computers because, you know, sometimes it used to be the kind of thing in the security industry. People in the computer security industry, people say your big risk is the person standing over your shoulder or looking at something that they shouldn’t, and certainly have that aspect of it, if you’re sharing at home and your spouse is looking at confidential client information, and you don’t know, they may inadvertently go out and say something in a bar or whatever, you know.
Heinan: I’m more worried about them downloading something inappropriate on the machine.
Davina: Right. And, and having that create that hole, then that allows hackers in, like games are notorious for that kind of thing. Right? So then having security policies, probably needing to write down your security policies, and this is what our policy is, and providing dedicated equipment, and doing the best you can to help upgrade your teams, you know, work virus protection and service and whatever you can do. You know there are limitations on what we can do as far as what’s running into the house.
Heinan: Right, you know, yeah, it’s very, very important. In fact, I’m silly, I did not mean to send you to YouTube, let me send you somewhere else. We have, we have on our website, a half-hour security training webinar that we put out just a couple of months ago, go to optimalnetworks.com/security, you’ll see it there. It’s on-demand, it’s free. And just go in there and actually covers a lot of this stuff. It covers the policies, the password policies, the remote work policies. And it also talks about making sure you get the right technical controls in place. So you do want that antivirus/anti-spyware. You want that, if you can get it commercially, that’s better if you can get it from the service provider that’s helping you with your office equipment. And hopefully, they put something together to help with the home equipment. That would be nice. And if not, at least have people get the subscriptions to Symantec, Norton Antivirus, whatever, whatever it is to protect their systems that it is very, very important.
Davina: Right, right. And we can’t rely on Zoom 100%. I’ve been using zoom for a long time. And it was not, you know, I never had any issues with it wasn’t worried about it didn’t have I remember, what was it, there was some service that came out that people Blab, I was on Blab when it first came out. That was social media where people could come on and have conversations with people all over the world. And one of the issues with Blab is you would have people pop on who was in another part of the world who had a different agenda. And you would suddenly start seeing little adult pictures flowing up in your comments. And so that was an issue and now Blab has gone away. But this is what came up with Zoom when everybody started using Zoom, then you started having hackers turn their attention to Zoom. And so Zoom had to jump in very quickly and initiate some security to protect people. But we’re kind of going around thinking, Oh, you know, technology companies are surely addressing security. But we have to also think it through for ourselves and our firms. If we’re doing this, there’s a personal level with your identity. But also, if you’re responsible for confidential information, your team is responsible, competent. I mean, it’s even more so for this type of profession. Right?
Heinan: One, yeah, 100%. And often you can tell how good a company is like a lot of people took Zoom down and refused to use it because of security upfront, but a lot of what you can tell is how they responded to it. And Zoom responded very, very well. And very, very quickly. They were under a lot of pressure their use skyrocketed in a way that you could not even begin to predict.
After they were able to get in there and put in the features and focus on security and bring up the level and allow you to actually route your zoom data. If you wanted your data not to be in China. You could not have your data in China just like that. It was amazing. So that’s very impressive. And that actually goes back to the policies. Like do you have an incident response policy?
If something does happen, it’s not only important to try to prevent the security, but it is important to pay some bit of attention to what would happen “if”–and I hate to say most security professionals would tell you “when”–you get breached. And, that’s by the way in the ABA. If you look at one of a quote from one of their studies that they’re that one of their opinions. People are divided up into people who have already been breached, and people who have yet to be breached. Because it is a huge industry out there. The hackers are making a lot of money with this information. And law firms are particularly vulnerable because it’s the last place on earth that still accept people’s secrets.
Davina: And that people are willing to share their secrets openly. Right? And it’s so it’s it is, well, you have that and you have the hospitals, which is really scary.
People have this notion that, well, I’m a small business, nobody’s going to mess with me, they’re gonna go after the big guys, they’re gonna go after the Facebook’s of the world, they’re not gonna come after me. And I don’t use Facebook, or, you know, or whatever it is, they think, right? But it’s my website when I started getting a, I started running ads, I started getting a little bit more traffic. Fortunately, I have a lot of security on my site, it just started getting hammered. And I’m not a big company, you know, small, some small potatoes. And my, and it went on for weeks. Fortunately, we have really good security. So while we were seeing the messages, but the messages were people are trying to log in, and they’re trying to hack your site. And so if you think you’re exempt, because you’re a small, firm, and nobody knows you. You’re probably even more vulnerable than you know because you think people out there all over the world who are trying who are just they’re running, you know, they’re just running, then they’re looking for these sites that are not secure. I mean, even just like a basic security chip kit, for your site, you’re seeing so many sites out there that don’t even have that basic security. And that’s a website. Now we’re talking about logging into our case management, and we’re talking about our Dropbox or Box. And if you’re a small law firm, you’re just trying to figure out the right tools to use like, you’ve got maybe case management, but are you using Dropbox? Are you using Box are using? How do you exchange files? And so every layer that you add, there’s that vulnerability,
Heinan: It’s true. And there are ramifications to it. So even if you look at your website, which we could postulate is an online brochure. Right? Right. So if I’m going to come to you as a client, the first thing I’m going to do is jump on your website. If it’s hacked, I don’t think I’m going to give you my stuff.
Davina: That’s a little scary, as well. And so many people are using their websites now as portals as well, you know they’re creating Intranets and allowing their clients to interface or whatever. And so, you know, all of that. So, our, if people take nothing else away from this interview, they should be taking away, they need to stop and think about the security aspects of their distribution, not only the culture, and how we feel about being on Zoom, and those kinds of things, and, and the potential loss there.
Heinan: I would say that one of the important people to have on your team is a good IT advisor.
Davina: So we should be asking your IT professional that they have now, these questions that we’ve been bringing up and talking about, and if they can’t answer them, they need to give you guys a call.
Heinan: I’m happy to take it and I’m happy to help. But yeah, if you’re not getting these, look, I should have brought this up with you already. Security has been a huge concern among the IT community from before COVID and during COVID times 10. And so if they haven’t brought this up with you, or they don’t feel they’ve got good answers for you on the security front. You should go looking.
Davina: I can hear it now. Law Firm owners sitting there and they’re going ka-ching…ka-ching…ka-ching. This is adding up in their head, oh my goodness, this is going to be so expensive. You know there’s a cost of not doing it, which we’ve already I think scared people. If people aren’t scared. Yeah, they need to do some research. Because they will be, for those who’ve been in the IT industry for a long time, you know,
Heinan: Average cost of a breach in the services industry is $4.5 million. The average across all industries.
Davina: A few thousand dollars to get your computer systems secure would be a good place to start. But let’s talk about it as a moneymaker. Because I don’t, because I think attorneys are expense conscious. And they tend to think of computers and technology as “Oh, gosh, that’s going to be expensive. And, and my IT guy just handed me another bill for you know, this and I can go down to BestBuy and I can buy a computer.” It’s consumer thinking for a business problem. And oftentimes, they don’t think about the value and the actual hard dollars that a good IT company can create for them and help them create through efficiency and other types of things. So can you talk about that a little bit?
Heinan: I can, I think it’s actually very interesting to see the difference between firms that are forward-leaning in technology and the ones that are very conservative and view it as an expense item. And perhaps one of the best ways I could explain it is to talk about the statistics which is that before COVID, this is a 2018 study, about 59% of law firms said that they didn’t see the economic value to change. They didn’t feel enough economic pain about the change in technology. They didn’t want to change. But 41% did. Right. So 41%, were a bit more forward-leaning in technology. And if I look at my clients who have adopted technology, we’ve made the decision, and sometimes it takes a while, you know, and it doesn’t mean that no one was rushing decisions here. It’s just a question of, sort of attitude towards technology. And if you become more forward-leaning, and I look at some of my clients of a wonderful law firm in Miami, actually that is on our virtual desktop environment, they have been for years. And they need to be responsive to their clients, right, that’s where they would like to be very responsive to their clients. And what does that mean?
That means that they need, if they want to work at any time of day and night, they can, I’m not saying that you should work 24-7, I’m saying you want to have the ability to work. So if their managing partner is in the car, and his wife is driving him up to their daughter’s engagement party, and it’s a five-hour drive, and he wants to set up a hotspot and work he can. And he’s talking about me and that makes him more responsive. And that makes his clients be more connected to him. And that means he gets more repeat business. And he’s also able to get new clients when the pandemic hit, these guys did not have to worry about their technology operations, they had to worry about making sure their clients understood that they were alive, functioning, and ready to help them. And they were able to make money and continue to cruise through the beginning of the lockdown and onward without any sort of disruption. And some of their competitors went dark for weeks. Right. And that’s hard money that is actually hard money that you’re dealing you’re dealing with. And I know the pandemic was a big blip. But I think that that’s indicative. And I think that if you look at another aspect of technology innovation, right? So there are all sorts of new technologies coming down the pike. And some of these technologies are going to help your operations be more efficient. And some of these technologies call it artificial intelligence, for example, could be a place to develop a whole new practice area.
How many lawyers are involved in the three or four Tesla crashes that they’ve had? Right? What I actually did in my book was trying to lay this out a little bit in an organized format, because what I worry about is that there’s no real framework for people to grab on to. And I actually created a little assessment. It’s easy to do–14 point assessment.
Davina: What’s the link for that? And what’s the link for the book and we want the link for the security. So we can include all that in the show notes because everybody’s going to be going in. Okay, as soon as they’re finished listening because they’re going to be going looking all that up by now.
Heinan: Oh, fantastic. And it’s just 14 questions. It will give you a 360-degree look at your technology, from security all the way through innovation. And the idea with innovation is, is somebody accountable for it? And is someone being educated about the technologies and that someone doesn’t have to be you? You know, it could be your IT team, right? It could be whatever you’re using? And, and are they coming to you and saying, “Hey, I saw this new technology that would let you work with your clients better. And you guys could collaborate on documents together.” And I think it’s going to get more important because that pace of technology change is just accelerating.
Davina: It all depends on your perspective, and, and how you look at it and say, How can I incorporate it. If you’re doing trial work, and you used to have to carry your boxes and boxes of files and paper, and now, people are carrying tablets and phones, and, you know, they’re using all kinds of they’re looking up cases right there in court. And that was something at one point we could never have imagined. And, and now it’s just commonplace, right? So there are so many different ways and most recently the courts were holding trials and hearings, on Zoom. And that is just, mind-blowing, think about it, and who knows if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s definitely a thing. I think people’s behaviors are altered for a long time, the way we’re going to be interacting may never go back to what it was before.
Heinan: Yeah, I think some of this stuff is going to stay with us forever.
Davina: We really need to be thinking about the way we practice and whether and what technologies can we use to help us do it better?
So I really appreciate everything. And you being here today and sharing with me, I’m going to look for those links so we can include them in the show notes and get people to start doing some research about security, and how they can protect their not only their clients’ confidential information, which is important but their business because the cost of having your systems wiped out, having a breach being sued because you allow breaching can really put a small business owner out of business. So this is really critical. Thanks so much for being here.
Heinan: Thanks for having me. It was great fun.
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