The shift to new approaches to work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created headaches for business leaders in legal practices and legal departments across the country. Law firms now had employees working from their homes spread across towns and cities, making rudimentary tasks such as document signing needlessly tedious.
Notorious for being a paper-heavy sector, remote and hybrid working has forced law firms to seriously examine how they manage their data and workflows. Unlike technology companies, law firms have always depended on huge volumes of physical documents such as contracts, written testimonies, and invoices. It is still common for a legal case to contain thousands of pages.
It was clear that digitization had to be accelerated. It is no wonder, then, why so many law firms are looking to enterprise content management (ECM) platforms to manage this process.
In a nutshell, ECM is an approach that helps get physical documents and digital data under control, resolving multiple business challenges at once.
Here is how ECM can help law firms enjoy instant benefits:
Remote and hybrid working is making it increasingly harder for organizations to organize and store their data. Not only do they still have huge volumes of physical contracts, invoices, and other documents, but the number of digital documents being received each day continues to increase. This is creating a difficult juggling act, and content sprawl ensues. Luckily, one ECM solution is often all it takes to efficiently digitize, organize, and store data so that staff can work efficiently and securely. Data control will be one of the key pillars upon which all organizational success will be built in this new chapter of the digital age.
Unstructured data is the enemy of productivity – the time spent sifting through filing cabinets or online folders is valuable time lost. On the other hand, ECM solutions help digitize paper documents efficiently, clearly labeling files, while also offering Google-like search capabilities so that lawyers and legal administration staff can find the documents they need in a flash. This also enables law firm staff overcome content sprawl, allowing them to collaborate quickly and efficiency regardless of whether they are operating out of HQ or a remote workspace.
With the right ECM solution, legal professionals no longer have to be burdened with heavy briefcases full of documents that could have been accessed via their mobile device or tablet. This new-found flexibility and accessible information on the go is invaluable. A contract can now be printed, signed and scanned from a remote workspace and sent while on the way to the office. ECM enables smarter, more agile remote and hybrid working, eliminating the tedious pains of the past. What’s more, clients receive a better, more efficient service.
This sudden shift towards new models of work has left many organizations vulnerable to security blind spots. Teams were forced to adapt to working via Zoom calls while stacks of important and confidential documents were left behind in the office. By using ECM solutions, law firms have since been able to digitize legal documents, drastically reducing the number of digital files on-site. Giving structure to multiple data forms also ensures greater protection for documents that previously would have been at risk of being misplaced, damaged or stolen. With the volume and complexity of security threats on the rise, ECM is set to prove its worth when it comes to data and content control.
Storing and managing physical documents can drain money and time. This is particularly the case for legal practices and departments that continue to store vast amounts of documents. By implementing an ECM solution, legal departments can convert vast swathes of invoices, contracts and legal documents into digital information, freeing up space, saving money on storage costs, and cutting down on printing expenses.
By enabling your team to work smarter, ECM helps create a robust and secure data ecosystem."
During times of disruption and uncertainty, decision makers often tend to batten down the hatches. But this is a time to be proactive, to lay the foundation for secure and efficient data and content management. Those who fail to invest in the right tools for the digital age will fall behind. Many will not recover.
The positive impact that ECM could have on your legal business or department is evident. By enabling your team to work smarter, enterprise content management solutions will help create a robust and secure data ecosystem, allowing your organization to face into the digital age on the front foot.