A chief executive officer has flagged the biggest opportunities and challenges set to impact Aussie businesses in light of advanced technology.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly following PEXA’s Property X conference, chief executive officer Marcus Price said since the launch of the company, he’s seen progressive tech benefit both lawyers and conveyancers alike.
“Honestly, freeing up lawyers and conveyancers from some of the admin-based aspects of their work, allowing them to do what they do best, has been really exciting,” Mr Price said.
“Technology should help remove risk and increase efficiencies, and that’s what we’re seeing through PEXA — greater flexibility, time savings, fewer requisitions, more certainty of settlement and faster clearance of funds for end clients, just to name a few.”
However, Mr Price noted there are some challenges that come with a need to respond to technological advancement in a timely manner, particularly for lawyers who are seeing clients adopt certain tools at a faster rate.
“I think just dealing with the pace of change for lawyers in the technology space can be daunting, and PEXA is certainly part of that,” the CEO explained.
“The legal industry is being challenged by an almost unprecedented rate of change arising from technology in almost every sphere of its activities — not just property transactions.
“While technology can deliver vast benefits, it sometimes takes time, and the frustration involved in getting through the transition time is certainly something I have heard mentioned many times.
“There are other things that we need to be aware of — cyber security is one of them. Property transactions are a potential honeypot for cyber criminals, so it’s critical we keep the network safe.”
Despite the threats, however, Mr Price encourages businesses to readily adopt the advanced technology available to market, noting that by doing so presents a huge value-add.
“New and emerging innovations and technology can provide enormous benefits to small businesses (that account for approximately one-third of Australia’s industry value added),” he explained.
“We’ve seen practitioners who operate in rural areas save time and money travelling to settlements or to lodge documents. The ability to do everything on from their desks means that they are able to focus on providing the best customer service they can. It’s remarkable how much flexibility technology can offer.
“We’ve also seen how technology can be used to benefit society as a whole; for example, new industries focused on the environment, such as Planet Ark’s soft plastic recycling.
“... Bringing the industry together to embrace this change was a mammoth task, understandably so, after 150 years of doing settlements in paper. For the first time, banks, lawyers, conveyancers and the extended industry are working together in bringing an improved property settlement experience to Australian consumers.”
PEXA’s Property X conference also heard from Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Centre, on how businesses can ensure they’re cyber-resilient, and Stephen Scheeler, former managing director of Facebook ANZ and founder of The Digital CEO, who shed some insight into how Aussie companies are tracking with digital adoption.
The event also heard from Andrew McLeod, director, head of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) research at Morgan Stanley, on the need for businesses to brace for a “second generation of technology” and how global tech investment and software development is furthering opportunities for local businesses.