The legal industry faces unique challenges when it comes to technology. They must adhere to compliance standards and maintain client confidentiality while managing and signing sensitive documents. These strict processes have made it increasingly difficult for many legal firms to stay agile and digitally transform. In a 2018 legal survey, only 30% of firms had resource assigned to drive technological innovation.
A recent PWC survey suggests that while improving technology use is a top priority for legal firms, reducing costs and threat of security breach are also key focuses. For some companies, according to Forbes, technological innovation and cost and risk management are seen as competing operations. In others, the barrier is getting stakeholders to buy in to transformation.
The good news for legal firms is that there are solutions readily available to help you improve productivity and stay agile whilst maintaining cost efficiency, compliance and high levels of security. With the right solutions and support in place, transformation can actually increase cost-saving, security and day to day operations.
A key solution is Microsoft Azure. Though many legal firms will have heard of the leading cloud service and its growth in recent years, many may not realise the benefits relatable to them. Azure offers secure file storage in an always-accessible environment; key for keeping case files safe whilst offering access to key users. Azure can also be scaled to meet increased demand and you only pay for what you use through Azure plan; a simple and efficient way of growing as opposed to having to upgrade on-premise hardware.
More critically, though, Azure addresses the challenges the legal industry faces when it comes to security. Its built-in security solutions allow for proactive identification of emerging threats and detection of ‘zero-day’ attacks via AI analysis of millions of emails and logins per day. Single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) also provide employees with added efficiency and security.
The flexibility of Azure means that familiar case management software such as ProLaw and Eclipse can be hosted and protected easily. Further, Azure provides strong reassurances when it comes to managing confidential information, with a larger list of compliant certifications than any of Microsoft’s competitors.
By meeting compliance needs, Azure can give legal firms peace of mind and allow them to focus on working with clients, staying up to date with training, and implementing technological innovation.
Microsoft’s security and compliance benefits can also be found within some of its other flagship products. Microsoft Teams, for example, is built on the enterprise-grade Microsoft 365 platform. As such, the communications platform offers the seamless access and secure sign-on features, while encrypting data in transit and at rest. It also integrates with Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection solution, which scans content, links and attachments to ensure they aren’t malicious.
Teams files are stored within SharePoint, which holds its own encryption to enable secure and seamless collaboration on documents. In the current flexible working era, easy communication is even more valuable – with colleagues able to communicate via chat, video call, or on the document without lengthy training.
The cloud migration and ongoing operations of the cloud can also be performed with minimal effort in the capable hands of a Managed Service Provider. An MSP can take the stress away by managing migration, licensing, and training with predictable and flexible monthly billing.
An MSP can also help you claw back productivity with regards to document signing – another key process for legal firms. Through the deployment of an e-signature solution like DocuSign, lawyers can easily track document progress while remaining court-admissible, compliant and secure.
Implementing such solutions can be challenging, but the competitive advantages that technologies like Azure, Microsoft Teams, and DocuSign can offer far outweigh the struggles. These robust solutions allow law firms to reap rewards of digital transformation without compromising on what is most important to them.