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Re-inventing how work gets done in a post-pandemic world

Neil Araujo

Digital transformation was a boardroom topic long before COVID-19 hit. But the pandemic served to bring it into sharper view virtually overnight.

As law firms, corporate legal departments, and other professional services firms had to move fluidly to survive the upending of “business as usual” over the last 6 months, organizations are now looking toward what’s next.

They’ve witnessed that the hastened changes to new ways of working have actually brought new advantages – and this realization has longer term ramifications for how law firms operate and how lawyers in general will get work done.

Challenges like: What are the most effective ways for your professionals to work together and collaborate irrespective of location? What are the best ways to share knowledge across the firm when you’re not sitting under the same roof?  How can you ensure that sensitive content is properly secured and governed when your people are working remotely?

To answer these questions, the most nimble organizations have moved quickly to execute digital strategies. Those with tools and processes in place have a distinct competitive advantage.

Resiliency, efficiency, and security are essential

In this era of remote working, collaboration and resilience take on even greater importance to ensure quality and uninterrupted service delivery. Law firms and legal departments will need to re-evaluate traditional approaches for getting work done, take a closer look at workflows, consider technologies that enable faster, more accurate access to institutional knowledge across the organization, and identify new and improved ways to drive efficiency and resilience.

As part of this, the ability to access critical documents and emails at any time, from any location, on any device matters more than ever, as does the performance and resiliency of the systems that manage these files. While the cloud is invaluable in this situation, not all clouds are created equal, and firms should carefully do their research to ensure the service levels, performance and features meet and exceed user expectations.

Security risks increase with remote work because there are more endpoints to protect and there are new ways to access critical data. As more work is digital, the threat profile becomes more serious, and the risk of a security incident only increases.

As a result, legal organizations need an integrated, comprehensive best-practices approach to security protection that encompasses active threat detection, need-to-know security controls, and the ability to manage security policies at scale. These capabilities need to be designed to secure and govern across the entire information lifecycle. Anything less is putting your client’s sensitive data and your firm’s reputation at risk.

With a distributed workforce in play for the foreseeable future, innovative technologies that drive collaboration and teamwork, support new ways of working, and allow knowledge sharing to continue unabated will be invaluable. With a digital strategy that delivers these outcomes, organizations can emerge stronger, more resilient and agile and with better service delivery than before.

This article was first published in the September issue of LPM Magazine. 

About the author

Neil Araujo

As co-founder of iManage and VP/General Manager of the ECM business at HP, Neil was responsible for thought leadership and product strategies before becoming CEO.