January 31, 2023

3 signs it’s time for document management software

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By Ian Lopez, From Legaltech News

As hours spent overseeing documents becomes a thing of the past, firms are faced with upgrading their document management approach to the digital age.

While you may not be swimming through a sea of paper or drowning in data, not employing software for your document management strategy may be setting your firm back more than you realize. However, if your legal department has yet to take document management to the information age, you’re not alone – as noted in ILTA’s 2015 legal technology purchasing survey, only 10 percent of respondents reported buying document management technology in the past 12 months, down from 12 percent in 2014. The losses that can ensue aren’t a new finding, either – as noted in a 2012 global survey of IT professionals, document challenges during the year amounted to a 21.3 percent loss in an organization’s overall productivity.

The time may be ripe for applying software to document management strategies, and, according to Cathy Reisenwitz, web content writer at business technology consultancy Capterra, there are three “telltale signs that it’s time” bring a tech solution to your firm.

1. “Your lawyers are still marking up drafts by hand.”

The current climate for business technology has enabled professionals to reduce considerable time, effort, and costs associated with tasks that software can both expedite and simplify. For document management, the ability to adapt started long ago. as, “If you use a word processor, you already have a document management system in place,” Reisenwitz noted The question, she added, is whether it’s time to start “using dedicated software” for specific tasks.

Thus, for lawyers to still be taking a pen to drafts “is a horrible idea,” she said, and “there are many reasons why.”

“The first is that marking up drafts by hand leads to poor workflow. Accountability flies out the window when it’s one colleague’s word against another’s about when the draft arrived on their desk. Worse, there’s no way to know how long your processes take on average, making billing more difficult. Finally, you can’t compare how long it takes one colleague versus another to mark up a draft when you’re doing it on paper,” Reisenwitz explained.

2. “Your lawyers are emailing each other documents.”

Given its necessity in the modern workplace, even the most technologically incompetent individuals have considerable aptitude with some email platform or another. Despite the platform’s widespread acceptance, however, many employees find email disruptive – 40 percent of respondents to survey of U.S. employee workplace behavior reported that excessive emailing gets in the way of productive work.

When it comes to document management, Reisenwitz noted, “Emailing drafts between is a little better than paper, but not much.”

This is because with email, although the receipt of messages can be tracked, monitoring is still difficult, and without access to a recipient’s inbox, it’s impossible to definitely know that an email was received.

“Losing things in your inbox is easy, and there are file compatibility issues, full inboxes and file size limits to deal with,” she said. “The worst problem with email, however, is version control. Are you really editing the latest version? There’s no way to know for sure.”

3. “You’re missing deadlines.”

Time isn’t always on our side, and bringing it to a manageable scale is a goal of many technologies. Reisenwitz stressed the importance of meeting deadlines for lawyers, “Accountability really becomes key when things take a turn for the worse,” she said

Reisenwitz also noted that, “It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint your bottlenecks without software.” With document management software, she explained, users can automatically track a draft from creation onward as well as keep track of the creator and those altering it. Furthermore, the draft can be assigned for edits between lawyers and clerks, and that the software can automatically alert individuals when it’s their time to analyze.

“This reliability makes it easier to meet deadlines, and to track what happened when deadlines aren’t met,” she said.

Reisenwitz also noted that document management software allows provides users with “version control,” meaning “you always know you’re working on the latest version … and you can go back to a previous version at any time without digging through email or the recycle bin. Searching for documents is much easier than searching your email inbox.”

IMAGE: ©iStock.com/Vertigo3d

Read more: http://www.legaltechnews.com/id=1202752575051/3-Signs-its-Time-for-Document-Management-Software#ixzz43Y2Hkdae

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