Today, solving the productivity puzzle remains a pressing preoccupation. At a time when doing “more with less” has been etched into the psyche of lawyers everywhere, the question of how to achieve that in the current climate still hangs in the air at many law firms. Especially since, according to the Thomson Reuters Institute Law Firm Financial Index (LFFI), law firm productivity dropped significantly last year. It’s a situation that must be rectified — urgently.
In many cases, the most obvious and powerful way to maximize effectiveness and efficiency is to deploy technology to automate manual tasks, streamline workflows, and eliminate friction in communication and collaboration with colleagues and clients. If it can enable secure 24/7 remote access for users too and even improve transparency for better decision-making, all the better. Then the amount of time wasted searching for files, duplicating basic tasks, trying to get coherent visibility over different aspects of the business, or simply not being able to get into the firm’s systems when working remotely will be greatly reduced. It will make more space in the day for higher-value work and strategic thinking to drive the firm forward.
That may mean looking again at your firm’s tech stack to see if it remains fit-for-purpose at a time of rapid technological change, and especially weighing up the benefits of expanding your tech investments in the cloud. After all, that’s the way many other law firms — and clients — are going: Gartner forecasts that 85% of businesses will be in the cloud by 2025.
The arguments for cloud-based services, and how they enable continuous productivity, are explored in detail in our white paper, “Navigating the cloud with confidence.”
In this post, we will give an overview of how a cloud-based financial and practice management solution can make law firms stronger, more agile, and more efficient.
Uninterrupted productivity in the cloud
The deployment of financial and practice management solutions in the cloud addresses a number of business-critical concerns that all have a knock-on effect on productivity. Here’s how to get uninterrupted productivity with cloud-based services for law firms:
Cloud-based financial and practice management solutions can automate processes and streamline workflows, provide greater visibility over matters and make collaboration and communication with clients and colleagues easier to keep progress moving and ensure everyone is on the same page – all while enabling lawyers to work remotely when they need to. So, lawyers will be empowered to spend less time on administrative tasks and devote more attention to work that delivers most value to clients, in an efficient way. Ultimately, the result is that they can do a better job, and do it faster.
When clients have questions, they want answers quickly. So your staff need access to all the relevant, up-to-date information at the touch of a button so they can respond promptly to queries on costs, billing, matter status, or next steps. Clients will be even more impressed if they can work together with them via the cloud in areas like document preparation and review, facilitating interactions in a seamless way that’s friction-free. Clients and prospects in a wide range of industries are exploring and using cloud-based solutions for themselves. That makes it increasingly likely that clients will choose external law firms that also use the cloud for document sharing, communication, and other tasks.
Supporting the business more widely
The cloud’s firm-wide connectivity, together with the data that can be leveraged from financial and practice management solutions, mean that it’s easy to share information, find answers or decide on a course of action. For instance, finance professionals will have meaningful real time data at their fingertips for everything from accounts payable to time tracking. Firm leaders will be in a position to spot trends, threats and opportunities, using these insights to take informed, data-driven decisions about day-to-day operations and business strategy.
Behind the scenes
With cloud, business continuity is assured and superior security is built-in, so that wherever and whenever staff are working, they can access what they need seamlessly and safely, with access to the full suite of system capabilities. This is not always the case with tools that are web-based, rather than cloud-first. Upgrades are more manageable and less disruptive and services can be scaled according to business needs, so you have optimal performance at all times, while solutions can be configured cost-effectively to suit specific requirements. And there’s less of a burden on the IT department to support and maintain costly in-house servers. Running the firm’s entire tech stack from a single platform makes managing technology much more straightforward.
Be 3E Productive
The pressure is on law firms to find efficiency gains wherever they can, while continuing to deliver top-quality service to clients, boosting their profitability through productivity. Smart practice and financial management tools hosted in the cloud could well be the solution.
3E® from Thomson Reuters is the legal industry’s first cloud-native SaaS enterprise financial and practice management solution. It has been designed by legal experts for the legal industry to allow firms to do more in less time in a secure, accessible cloud environment — enabling them to be what we call “3E Productive”. From streamlined client intake and conflict checking to effortless time and billing functionality that facilitates smoother invoicing and speeds up work-to-pay timeframes, 3E delivers ease and efficiency right through the whole matter lifecycle and across the entire firm.
Download our white paper to learn more about how cloud services for law firms enable continuous productivity.