5 Ways Information Management Platforms Produce Deep Value For Legal Teams

Globally, the legal services industry was worth $849 billion in 2017 and is expected to become a trillion-dollar industry by 2021, per Statista. It’s an immense sector of the economy and it’s growing. But it’s about to be disrupted by digital transformation, and information management platforms are likely to play a key role.

Wolters Kluwer says in their report, The Future Ready Lawyer, “After a decade of debate about legal sector transformation — if, when and how it would happen — there’s no question that the global future of law is underway and that technology is a key force for change. Legal professionals are increasingly turning to impactful technologies that help them achieve better outcomes and offer higher value through higher efficiency and productivity.”

Ultimately, the legal sector is vulnerable in its susceptibility to disruption. An industry becomes vulnerable to disruption when it becomes deep-rooted in the same, age-old solutions and structures.

A successful law firm is contingent on positive outcomes predicated on information and knowledge — information that helps attorneys to better strategize, solve problems, to accomplish specific business goals. Demand for legal services has increased year-over-year, as seen in the below figure, and so has worked rates, fees worked and lawyer growth. Yet, productivity has declined.

Pedantic information sits at the heart of law firm success, and by extension their expertise in handling complex matters and steering clients down a sound and secure pathway by leveraging their knowledge and research. Businesses cannot know everything and therefore, rely on specialists with practical experience to guide and support their business.

5 Ways Information Management Produces Deep Value

Before we discuss the value that information management platforms bring, it’s worth a brief explanation of what exactly they are.

Call it whatever three-letter acronym you like. Enterprise content management. Intelligent information management. Content services platforms. They all describe a category of technology solutions that, in broad generalities, facilitate the storage, organization and retrieval of information. They help companies evolve from archaic folder structures for their documents. These solutions help firms conquer content chaos where information is scattered across disparate silos. They bridge information into a central repository and, through metadata, give structure to unstructured data. They enable workers with workflows to make them more productive and give order to common processes.

Solutions like M-Files also bring the component of intelligence into the picture. With artificial intelligence features, documents can be automatically classified, screened for sensitive data or have key data points automatically extracted.

With that explanation, we’d like to present the value of these solutions in terms of five main tenets. How does information management help legal teams:

  • Increase revenue
  • Reduce expenditure
  • Save time
  • Avoid risk
  • Achieve your goals

Buyers of technology solutions should stop doing digital transformation because they feel they should and put a heavy focus on the outcomes of implementing a given solution. It is through that lens that we elucidate how information management (specifically the M-Files solution) provides quick time-to-value by answering these five questions.

How Information Management Helps Increase Your Revenue?

Buyers of legal services have changed their expectations. They want a collaborative relationship with critical insight and information on tap, when they need it, wherever they happen to be. 

M-Files information management gives you 360-degree visibility into a case or matter and drives operational efficiency into the organization — all to the delight of your current and future clients. 

To lean into better profitability, firms must re-examine their operations to remove any hurdles that prevent legal teams from serving the client best. This could be in areas like case or contract management.

As the single point of access for client information, case files and other company data, M-Files can streamline and automate document-intensive work, freeing up staff’s time and removing barriers to improved customer experience. Also, M-Files can efficiently manage documentation for case-related processes like filings and contracts, thereby enhancing responsiveness.

How Information Management Helps Reduce Your Expenditure?

M-Files reduces expenditure at just about every juncture — respond to inquiries 5x faster, secure cloud storage versus expensive on-premises storage, and reduction in resources needed for information governance, just to name a few.

There is a hard cost to managing paper documents, as well. It’s not just paper; it’s the file cabinets, folders, storage space and personnel to manage all of it. 45% of the paper printed in an office ends up in the trash by the end of the day. M-Files intelligent information management eliminates the need for paper, filing cabinets, and stacks of manila folders. Not just that, but the productivity losses realized by tracking down papers and organizing them can carry a heavy toll.

How Information Management Platforms Help Save Your Time?

According to research, 46% of workers say it’s challenging and time-consuming to find needed information. M-Files drastically reduces the time spent searching for documents by providing a 360-degree view of needed information across disparate repositories — case management software, SharePoint, network folders and others.

Law firms traditionally encounter several repetitive, manual tasks — from data-entry to document filing and everything in between. Automate many of these tasks with M-Files information management to free up time and resources. Time saved means more focus on strategic, value-added services and an increase in billable hours.

Among other drivers, fixed retainers are driving automation needs, as companies look to become more efficient with less overhead. Law firms that embrace data entry automation and other automated work become more agile in eliminating manual, repetitive, error-prone processes.

In fact, 55% of C-level executives in the legal industry expect the development of intelligent automated systems to have the greatest impact over the next 3-10 years, according to a report by the ACCA.

In terms of case-based engagements, client-facing automation is driving new business models, allowing law firms to focus less on poring through data and more on strategic guidance.

How Information Management Helps Avoid Risk?

Nothing is more damaging to your reputation than a data breach. Companies need systems and procedures in place to ensure that information-access permissions are only given to relevant people with zero-chance of information leak.

Consulting companies have data littered in multiple, disconnected systems. A multi-repository information ecosystem increases risk, as it compounds the challenge of ensuring that information doesn’t leak out or fall into the wrong hands. Firms need an information management ecosystem where they have constant visibility and control over information. They need a flexible information management environment like M-Files that not only adapts to ever-changing regulatory demands but can be configured to meet the security demands for each client.

How Information Management Platforms Help Achieve Your Goals?

“In 2020, the legal industry turns its focus towards ‘solution-based’ technology that brings disparate products together to solve real problems and drive down costs. Instead of siloed point products used by traditional brick-and-mortar offices, this approach will give rise to alternative business models. By stitching together products like lead capturing systems and document automation, we’ll see workflows emerge that are optimized to successfully win and work cases in more efficient ways.”

Information management platforms help legal teams reach their goals by allowing them to do more with less by reallocating resources to high-value work, like serving clients or working toward positive outcomes. 

Every organization is now on a digital journey. Companies can swim against the tide at their peril, but the most successful companies embrace the change. M-Files information management helps future-proof your organization and prepares you for a faster, tech-enabled future.For more information on how we can help your organisation please email: peter@documentmanagementsoftware.com.au or visit www.documentmanagementsoftware.com.au

Peter Ellyard