Are you resisting the urge to completely embrace the 21st century and automate your document management processes? What’s holding you back? Let’s take a look at some of the most common objections that law firms have to implementing technology that optimizes document intensive processes, such as contract management, eDiscovery, case management and more.
We’ve always done it this way – and it works
We’re all familiar with the old cliché of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” A common perception of law firms is that they stand by this mantra, holding on tight to their traditional values and avoiding change. The problem is, it flies in the face of development, innovation and generally moving forward. If we took it literally, we would all still be using hand-axes made of flint. They worked fine for cave people, after all.
The other issue is that clients will soon realize that their lawyers are standing still. A 2013 study revealed that 51% of clients decided against retaining their legal providers because ofinefficiencies in the way the firms were run. Clients today are increasingly busy people, often clued up about technology, with higher expectations. They will soon recognize if their lawyers are lagging behind, and if the customer service they’re receiving is suffering.
You may employ business processes that work – and work well. But can they work better? How much time do you spend rifling through a filing cabinet looking for a file? How quick and easy is it for you to access your client’s records or find a document? Technology solutions that make it easy to access and centralize information can help substantially reduce the time you spend on business processes, by automating and streamlining certain procedures. This allows lawyers more time to do work they can actually bill for, while improving customer service.
How can we be sure our information is secure?
This is probably the most common objection when implementing any system that works with information, especially if it is a cloud-based system. Many firms still believe that hard copies kept in an office are more secure. According the American Bar Association’s 2013 Legal Technology Survey results, 58% of lawyers surveyed cited security as the top reason that prevented them from using cloud computing in their law practices. But this comes purely from a lack of understanding. The Solicitors Regulation Authority, the regulatory arm of the Law Society in the UK, has said that cloud service providers can “offer levels of security far in excess of most internally hosted solutions.” After all, how easy is it for a hard copy kept in an office to be lost, stolen or seen by the wrong person? Arguably much easier than if that document was stored on a virtual network and protected by encryption. However, if cloud services simply aren’t an option, there are plenty of secure on-premises solutions that work just as well. Some process automation solutions even adopt the security of the underlying system the information that is being delivered is hosted in, ensuring that the information remains secure and protected according to security perimeters that have already been established.
Our competitors aren’t doing it yet – why should we?
Even if this is true now, how do you know your competitors aren’t planning to start optimizing their document management processes? Many law firms are realizing that process automation solutions are necessary if they are going to retain clients and keep up with changes in the market. Eliminating the redundancies, bottlenecks and inefficiencies that come with paper-based processes will help you improve customer relations by streamlining efficiencies and providing better services. So if your competitors haven’t installed such a system yet, you still have a chance to get ahead and save yourself time and money in the process..
- Even if your business processes work, consider whether they could be better, faster, more efficient and more productive.
- Remember that computer-driven processes are in fact more secure than traditional processes.
- Don’t wait until your competitors are one step ahead of you.
Discover how automating your document management processes will improve relations with your clients by downloading: A Win/Win Legal Strategy with Staff and Clients.