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Information Management for Professionals

Specialists in document production and management solutions, Ascertus offer a full range of professional services and software solutions, which allow professional knowledge workers across all sectors to demonstrate and justify their value to their company, effectively manage their costs, mitigate their risks, and enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Recent News

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ascertus Featured in Think Big Grow Fast "Fundamentals of 'Digital Transformation' Success"

By Roy Russell, CEO, Ascertus Limited and originally published on Think Big Grow Fast.Net on 29 April 2016.

‘A collaborative electronic filing system is fundamental to ‘digital transformation’ success.
‘Digital transformation’ is a hotly touted subject and analysts are unanimous in their perceived importance of it in business. IDC expects that the percentage of enterprises creating advanced digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from today’s 22% to almost 50%.

However, ‘digital’ is the operative word and businesses must be cognizant that success of digital transformation will hinge upon an organisation-wide adoption of a central collaborative filing system for both documents and emails. Without transition from a full or part paper-based environment to 100% digital records, flow of information within the organisation and with external parties, will be greatly hindered – negating the core rationale behind the digital transformation initiative.

Aside from the fact that electronic files (i.e. Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, text messages, emails, voicemail, etc. and other apps-related communications) are easy and cost-effective to store – by keeping all inter-related documents in a unified electronic file across the organisation, it becomes possible to preserve the original context of the content. This then enables a comprehensive view of the various issues/subjects/matters of business. Overtime this accumulated information becomes ‘corporate knowledge’ and as a ‘digital asset’, the information can be easily mined and shared across the organisation for business advantage. With the right tools, organisations can analyse and understand business issues in more detail; and use the information to affect the larger strategic goals such as increased customer satisfaction, cost efficiency, and so on.

To attain the above, email and document management processes must underpin a central electronic file. Take emails for example. A vast proportion of an organisation’s knowledge resides in individuals’ inboxes, but because the inbox is unstructured, it’s difficult to draw out the pertinent information that sits within the messages residing in these electronic containers. Unless proactively shared with named individuals, the knowledge remains inaccessible to others in the organisation and therefore meaningless. An organisation-wide email management system allows people to save important correspondence to a subject folder routinely. Such technologies learn who is working on what and can suggest or auto file emails to the correct folder.

Additionally, given that everyone is pressured for time, if it takes an individual extra time and mouse clicks to save a document or an email into a system, they are unlikely to undertake the operation, which thwarts the establishment of a complete electronic file system within the organisation, ultimately impacting the digital transformation programme. This is more pronounced when individuals work remotely or on the move. Through email and document management systems, people can save all critical emails automatically in the right subject matter folder from their desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet with a simple “send and file” command.

Furthermore, did you know that not all scanned PDFs are searchable? PDFs created from most scanning processes are in effect just images of the document and so cannot be indexed. So they may be centrally stored, but aren’t searchable. This defeats the objective of going digital! By embedding an optical character recognition (OCR) engine in either the scan process or the document management repository, non-indexable documents, such as PDF or TIFF image files, can be automatically converted into text-searchable PDF+Text documents. Document management systems can then appropriately index them.

There can be no doubt that without a collaborative electronic filing system, digital transformation is likely to be elusive. In fact, deriving full advantage of any technology programme will be difficult. Already, most IT systems today provide process automation and management capability that organisations aren’t able to make full use of due to a lack of electronic information flows – paper is indeed a real obstacle. Facilitating a complete digital filing is fundamental to the solid foundation of any digital transformation strategy.
Monday, April 4, 2016

Legal IT Benchmarking Survey

Historically, law firms have been at the forefront of technology adoption and today deploy multiple systems to help ensure an efficient operation and deliver the best possible service to clients.

Baskerville Drummond Consulting is conducting a survey among law firms across the UK to estimate the value of IT investment being made in organisations, identify the systems that are most widely deployed and ascertain the true effectiveness of the solutions in use.

If you complete the survey, you will receive :-

  • A full copy of the final report and any subsequent commentary based on the findings of the survey
  • Anonymised data enabling you to compare and benchmark key financial KPIs against other firms such as IT spend as % of revenue, IT spend per fee earner and staff member, average IT salary by job function and number of HelpDesk calls received by staff

  • We know your time is valuable – as a token of appreciation, you will be automatically entered into a prize draw, sponsored by ASCERTUS to win tickets to an entertainment show of your choice up to the value of £200.

    TAKE THE SURVEY

    The survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete. Please note that you will find it helpful to have the following information to hand when you take the survey:-

  • Firm Turn-over
  • Head Count by Function
  • Total IT Expenditure by :

    1. Telecoms
    2. Software Maintencence
    3. Hardware Maintenence
    4. Outsourced Services
    5. External Development
    6. Other Costs (Non-Salary)
    7. Internal Salary Costs
    8. Contractor Costs

  • IT Depreciation
  • Capitalisation Valuation

The Legal IT Benchmark Survey will close on the 15th April 2016.

TAKE THE SURVEY