Law Firms Are Looking to Automation for Efficient Document Assembly
Automation is a hot topic in the legal industry and 2018 really seems to be the year that firms...
This is the third and final part of the Ascertus brand story with CEO and Founder Roy Russell, where we’ve looked at the past, present and future of Ascertus and the DMS industry. Our first blog was focused on how Ascertus came to be and how they manage to stay current after 22 years in the business. The second part focused on their new mission and vision statements, advice on how to keep clients happy and how companies can avoid the dreaded pitfalls of the DMS industry.
This third and final blog is focused on the future, and in this blog, Roy will discuss what he thinks the biggest challenges will be for the industry this year and how he sees the industry evolve.
This is part two of three in this blog series.
Roy, thank you so much for being here with us again! This week we will be gaining a lot of insight into how you see the future which is very exciting so let’s get to it.
1. What do you think the biggest challenges are going to be this year for companies providing document management solutions and their clients?
Helping clients who are still using on-premise systems understand the benefits of moving to Cloud based solutions. In our case, that is predominately centered around the migration to iManage Cloud. The momentum for migration to the cloud is growing rapidly for all applications. That has been accelerated by the trend for home and hybrid working. Security and data location are still the biggest concerns, but for large law firms moving to the cloud is a massive shift - not just in the number of people it impacts but the logistics of migrating millions of documents - and as can be expected, there is room for concerns and hesitations around a move like that. Mid-tier firms have the same hesitations, perhaps with more pressure on budgets and building strong business cases.
However, clients who once never thought they would move to the Cloud are now doing so, and have found that their data is much more secure than it ever was on-premise. This realisation is filtering down to their own clients who are dropping their initial reservations and are starting to pressure them to make the move to the Cloud to inherit increased security and overall benefits.
Communicating the benefits of moving to the iManage cloud whilst addressing any concerns, is in the best interest of our clients for the following reasons:
And what are the risks of not moving to the cloud?
iManage is starting to sunset many of the legacy core components of their on-premise solution. Development for old versions of this system is being ended. To ensure that these systems will work on new versions of operating systems, databases, Microsoft Office, web browsers, etc. and that security threats can be addressed they will have no choice but to upgrade. The question then becomes, is it still viable to run those systems and avoid the migration to the iManage Cloud?
Our team at Ascertus have had this conversation with many of our clients and helped them to appreciate the risk versus the return. We are happy to have a no obligation meeting with any iManage customer to talk through these points and educate and help them understand that moving to the cloud isn’t something to be feared and can be done in one step, or baby steps. And the cost of doing this can be written off in the first couple of years.
Being in the technology market for many years, the fascination and excitement with the latest technology never cease to amaze me. You only have to look at the hype around blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) - but when it comes down to it you need to ask yourself whether they have been turned into good practical business applications that are available to everyone other than just those with big wallets and lots of resources.
We shouldn’t be talking about the technology, we should be talking about the business benefits. Whether or not an application has AI, or not, doesn’t matter. What does matter is whether it’s solving a business problem and helping a client be more profitable and competitive.
I do see a wave of pragmatism across the market though, with clients understanding that any technology needs to have substance behind it that meets their business objectives.
I recommend that before jumping onto the next big thing, our clients fully understand and leverage the systems they currently own. It is amazing how many people don’t realise the functionality that they have at their fingertips that would give them further time and cost savings. We are more than happy to show them the full potential of the product and often run free training courses explaining how our solutions work.
Generally, we all work with applications on a need to know basis, but if we take the time and become aware of the full functionality, it can give us further time savings. A prime example is the use of Word and Excel. A little additional training, specific to your own requirements, can cut the time to produce and edit documents in half the time!
For me, it is all about educating our clients to ensure that they receive the full capability of the solution rather than thinking that they have to invest in something new. I would recommend that when looking for a partnership it’s not about the pressure to buy the latest thing, it's about looking at what you’ve got and how it can be made to work better for you.
3. And lastly, how should businesses help customers to adapt to the future and these changes?
Thank you Roy for your input - these blogs have given us a fantastic insight into not only your success but also into the DMS industry as a whole as well as the future. We look forward to hearing about your continued success as technology evolves in the future.