By Legal Futures Associate Tiger Eye
From generative AI to cloud transitions, the legal technology stack has transformed during the last few years – and even months.* The network of systems law firms rely on to deliver legal advice has expanded exponentially, and it is becoming increasingly more complex. Managing all of the siloed applications needed for legal workflows can be a demanding and time-consuming process. This can put significant pressure on a law firm’s IT team.
This is heightened when each tool works independently, and not in harmony with others within the technology stack. The compliance of data stored in each system must be considered and managed effectively, to avoid sensitive information becoming trapped in systems or worse yet – in employee’s local file stores.
How can legal IT teams manage this complexity, and get ahead of the issue before it grows in tandem with the changing legal technology landscape? Fortunately, there is a hidden, seemingly simple solution to this common issue. For firms across the globe, the answer is software integration.
Why are software integrations so critical for law firms?
As a law firm’s tech stack grows, so does the risk of time waste in legal workflows. This is because users are generally required to manually switch between systems to get the benefit of each individual application. This time waste stems from staff manually locating systems on their desktops and logging in to each individual solution. With busy fee-earners then required to remember passwords and account names for endless tools, this may lead to additional time waste if users need to reset credentials and recover login information, too.
By integrating trusted platforms and applications, law firms can ensure that solutions are connected, with data flowing seamlessly from one system to the next. This ensures that busy staff don’t have to manually move content between systems, for example, downloading content from internal systems to upload to external sites. For legal workers, this accelerates productivity by minimising the hurdles involved in delivering legal advice.
Examples of truly integrated systems
Backend integrations and links ‘behind the scenes’
Backend tools connect and manage what happens ‘behind the scenes’. These integrations can be formed by connecting servers and databases, enabling firms to build and maintain an interconnected infrastructure that powers workflows. Backend integrations are commonly managed through APIs, which ensure that one data system communicates with another to streamline a user’s experience.
For example, many law firms opt to integrate their Practice Management System (PMS) with their iManage document management system (DMS) to automate processes and ensure that critical client information is not siloed within one system. Tiger Eye Workspace Automate, our PMS to DMS integration, delivers this vital connection. Seamlessly connecting these two otherwise disparate systems, tools like Tiger Eye Workspace Automate enable IT teams to automate the process of iManage Workspace creation and modification, ensuring that changes made in one business-critical system are reflected in the other automatically. This integration and connection is not visible by most iManage users – it is a hidden process that is driven ‘behind the scenes’ by the system.
Integrations like Tiger Eye Workspace Automate create a dual time saving, saving time for IT and end users alike. By ensuring that both systems are automatically updated, firms also benefit from true peace of mind, knowing that information is not siloed, or out of date.
Connecting the dots in common workflows
By ‘connecting the dots’ in document and email workflows, law firms can significantly boost efficiency by eliminating unnecessary steps within tasks. By strategically linking one system to another, firms can drive users through the separate phases of workflow systematically, potentially reducing the negative effects of context switching. For example, it is common for many integrations to connect systems together by adding a button or menu item that seamlessly drives the user from one system to the next tool needed to finish a piece of work. This can also help when users need to adopt new systems, as the newer tool can be contextualised within familiar user interfaces.
Tiger Eye Send and Sign, our DocuSign to iManage integration, is a popular example of this type of connection. Seamlessly integrating DocuSign’s e-signature platform with the iManage DMS, Tiger Eye Send and Sign guides users through the process of sending a contract for electronic signing through the way the two systems are connected. The process is managed and centralised within iManage, because this is where most document workflows are based. From within their familiar iManage work panel or web panel, users simply need to right click on an unsigned contract and select Send and Sign to be driven to DocuSign’s platform. Contracts sent via DocuSign are then automatically returned to the iManage DMS and saved as new versions, with no need for manual uploads. As a Send and Sign user, the activity is centred within iManage, minimising the feeling of jumping between tasks.
Cutting out the need for users to download content to local drives and manually upload it to databases, integrations like Tiger Eye Send and Sign also wrap a protective layer around sensitive data in transit. Such integrations are vital for firms who aim to scale and grow – as so too will their data stores and the risk of any unplugged gaps within data-focused workflows.
With law firms globally relying on technology to improve their service, the adoption of software integrations is now more essential than ever to eradicate time waste, boost productivity and guide users through the increasingly complex technology workflows needed to deliver legal advice.
By joining systems together, law firms can not only claw back valuable time savings, but also eradicate compliance weaknesses, ensuring that their legal technology stacks are managed, secured and scalable.
*Tiger Eye explored the changing legal technology landscape in their recent article ‘What are the top legal technology trends in 2023?’. You can read this via the Tiger Eye website
Tiger Eye’s range of legal technology solutions support firms at every step of their document and email journey. To find out more, visit the Tiger Eye website.