We are living in an era of great change, even for industries not known for their flexibility or frequent modernization. Law firms are adapting to new Federal rules and procedures, and as a result they are not operating the same way they did 10 years ago. It has been transformed. Atticus Finch wouldnt even recognize it…
According to an article on Forbes.com, the Legal Industry is now embracing ‘big data’ in the form of business applications, legal software, research processes and storing large databases of important legal records. Add to that, transaction-based processes that require complex ERP systems for filing, billing, tracking payments and managing their services. As law firms adopt new electronic procedures, such as electronic legal invoicing, an ERP system will not only capture every significant piece of information (such as legal process, practice area, industry, law firm size and location) it will also analyze and track the data to evaluate what they are billing most, with whom, where and at what rate. It is increasingly important for this data to be used to inform decisions about pricing, resources, staffing, and procedure. In the information age, information is king. A Law firm is a business first, which means efficiency and finding new or alternative business solutions are keys for success.
In the U.S, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have allowed electronic information, such as spreadsheets, emails, audio and video clips, to be covered by the pre-trial discovery process – the concept is called ‘eDiscovery’ and is now standard procedure during a trial. The updated rules have ultimately raised the costs and time required given that lawyers examine records stored in an unstructured manner on network drives, PCs and PDAs etc.
‘Big Data’ is sweeping the Legal industry too – and early adopters will have a clear edge if they can determine the best methods of accessing, tracking and analyzing the data available.
If you have big data needs such as large ERP or CRM applications, complex databases and files, business software, storage etc – you have two options: an on-site servers or a hosted solution. An onsite solution may mean massive upfront costs to implement hardware and ongoing costs to maintain the performance. A hosted option takes your servers offsite for total flexibility, and stores your data in premium facilities where hardware and maintenance costs will never plague you!