Being a digital-first firm: Is this the right time to ask for more technology? Absolutely!

Paul Walker
Technical Director, iManage
Paul has extensive development and technical skills, but has for the last 8 years moved into a delivery and subject matter expert roles.
30 November 2020

2020 has proven ground-breaking in so many ways. How many blogs have started with the words COVID, Remote Working, New Normal, and revolution in the first paragraph? It’s easy to get drawn into the negatives of the situation, but that is not for us.

2020 has provided a unique opportunity for Law Firms, Legal Teams, and Professional Service businesses–and the software companies that supply them–to test their solutions under extreme duress and validate the true value of their years of digital transformation projects. What has been the result?

Well simply put, we receive daily messages of gratitude from our cloud IT customers, who were able to sleep well as 1000s of their colleagues were able to carry on their daily work on shared internet connections, at the same time as their families consumed their entire bandwidth with Netflix streaming. Cloud and engineering developments in the last 10 years have ensured that we were all better able than ever to keep calm and carry on working at home. This is not to say the experience of non-cloud customers has been bad, but undoubtedly additional measures would have been required for effective remote working.

As the first phase priority for most companies was “make it work”, now we see digital-focused firms say “how can we make remote working better, more efficient, more productive, more secure, more collaborative.”

Many of us are suffering from Teams/Zoom meeting fatigue which has resulted in pushing our real work into the early mornings and evenings. Firms need to start understanding their teams’ working patterns better and to find ways to better support them and drive out inefficiencies in completing tasks.

Recently iManage saw an opportunity to help clients overcome some of these inefficiencies through the acquisition of Closing Folders, a company that automates what is still often a highly manual and physical process of Closing Checklists, Signature Collation, and Closing Books. These processes often pose a big risk for many Legal teams. At the very least automating them means the lawyer will not need to work the weekend when the deal slips a week and hundreds of documents need to be updated with a new date! They can spend that time at the Zoom Quiz instead.

We still face an undefined amount time before normality resumes, when it does, will we have seen a revolution? I don’t believe so, but I do believe firms will hold greater value in digital transformation projects; not just to support business continuity, but in how Technology can solve key business objectives, regardless of where the workforce is based.

This article originally appeared in LPM magazine.

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