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7 Myths About Legal Document Management Software in 2021

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way we live and behave. The new work-from-home (WFH) reality has accelerated the rapid migration to digital, proving legal technology is integral to a business. In many cases, it is what supports companies dealing with the crisis.

For example, Zoom allowed staying in touch with teams and clients and turned out just fine for onboarding new ones. Cloud services helped connect the dots and trace business processes with even less disruption than before. Task management tools like Jira, Confluence, and Trello gave insights into WFH performance and helped ensure teams were delivering from any place.

For all it’s worth, 2020 has built more trust in remote work and services and shown we can find dedication and passion outside the office walls.

And yet, some industries attempt to roll back to what feels usual and comfortable, mainly traditional sectors, such as legal, where technological changes feel more revolutionary than anywhere else. It creates room for many myths used as a self-defense mechanism against embracing change. In 2021, these myths have changed a bit, yet we still see their effect on document management solutions. So, like MythBusters, we are here to test them.

Myth #1: Everything will eventually return to the pre-pandemic ways because legal worked better then.

Reality: The evolutionary theory suggests that any change, either driven by positive or negative stimuli, is irreversible. For any step taken backward, two steps are taken forward to build the reality that meets any group’s needs. So whether we like it or not, technology has already penetrated our lives so profoundly that it is here to stay.

The myth might have been true had the legal industry functioned in a closed-off lawyer environment. But your clients are likely non-lawyers (hence the need for your services), and they expect you to meet their needs, not vice versa. If technology is part of their lives, they want you to be on the same page. Simply because that’s one of the ways they will evaluate your experience.

54% of workers state they would change current jobs for the position offering more flexibility, and remote teams show an average of 35-40% more productivity than those who choose physical office spaces

Many of the activities we used to consider routine will be safe again by the end of 2021 (Business Insider predicts this, and we believe it). But the life routine in a usual for us form would never return. First and foremost, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic does not mark the end of videoconferencing. Personal meetings could have been more efficient to draft documents before. But today’s people are likely to avoid driving across town and appreciate you delivering the same document into their inbox.

Video calls will certainly remain in use, but most likely as a component of meetings, not a dire necessity. What’s more, to stay in the race, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google are rolling out vastly better video chat options than they did before Zoom jumped into the market. As stated in the IDC report, the video conferencing market will reach the $9.7 billion mark.

Cloud services, in turn, will be at the frontline of the post-pandemic new normal. According to IDC, enterprises’ spendings on private and public cloud services have increased by 34.4% since last year. Even more, global spending on public cloud computing and infrastructure will nearly double, reaching around $500 billion by 2023.

The months of lockdown have created new and unique opportunities for business leaders, managers, and employees. As a Forbes survey shows, 54% of workers state they would change current jobs for the position offering more flexibility. WFH teams show an average of 35-40% more productivity than those who choose physical office spaces, produce results with 40% fewer quality defects, mark 41% lower absenteeism, and demonstrate an average of 12% turnover reduction after signing a remote work agreement. Hence, project management tools and software will reign supreme in the post-COVID-19 era.

Your document management software services should not be disruptive to your clients’ experience. What you want to disrupt is the stereotype within your industry, and for that, legal technology is the best equipment.

Myth #2: Document automation software is for large companies/law firms only.

Reality: There are as many various solutions as types of companies, and you can choose the one that will meet your needs, functionality, and budget.

Medium and small-sized businesses have more limited resources and, thus, distribute them more carefully. However, the same limits increase the price of error, as risk budgets are also probably limited. Regardless of the company’s size, the point’s still the same: document automation software secures you from errors in your documents and protects your data from being compromised.

Tools like AXDRAFT are flexible enough to offer different product options that will integrate into your business processes and elevate your work in the exact areas you need. Flexible volume-based pricing starts at $750 per month. This way, there is no need to overpay or overcomplicate what you already have.

Myth #3: The upkeep of client document management solutions is too high.

Reality: Legacy document management software is no doubt still fresh in your memory. In addition to being big, clunky, slow, and expensive, they required significant server infrastructure and had limited, or even no, remote access. What’s more, they offered faux-cloud solutions with significant client-side setup.

Although old, on-premise DMSs haven’t changed much since their inception, lawyer’s needs have increased dramatically. Here is when an advanced client document management solutions come to the rescue, packed with relevant document management features, explicitly made for serving law firms, and built from the ground up with security in mind. Unlike dinosaur DMSs, today’s document automation software marks a significant step forward in legal document management.

Moving to a document automation solution is a one-time migration investment that takes a bit of time and effort translated into human hours and resources. However, once the processes are up and running, you no longer need to invest any further. Even more, you don’t need an IT department to manage it, as most services will control their solution remotely and take care of any programmatic management. It is even easier to do if your vendor provides cloud services. AXDRAFT, for instance, does all the onboarding for you, so when you first log in, everything is already set up and tailored.

Myth #4: Document management will require too much time, effort, and manual input to use it, and will decrease my ROI.

Reality: Only if you never start using it. Document automation requires a bit of effort to get a grip on, mostly because it implies changing the existing order. Sometimes, even having used the software for three-six months or longer, users still have no idea what it’s capable of doing.

The trick is to try to understand the software once and set up the processes, so your work does not feel interrupted. Proper client document management software should be flexible and intuitive for the users. What’s more important, the vendor is responsible for educating you the right way.

Proper document management software should be flexible and intuitive for the users, while the vendor is responsible for educating you the right way.

Once it is in motion and your team knows what it’s for and what it can do, document automation software will help streamline time-lagging processes and reduce the amount of routine work, saving up room for meaningful work. It means that more work gets done within the same amount of time, and you progress with your cases faster, which inevitably increases ROI and the quality of legal work.

Migration to cloud services like AXDRAFT requires less hardware, maintenance, and license costs. For example, M*Modal, the U.S.-based clinical transcription service, needed to relocate offices to Tennessee. To do that, the healthcare institution had to manage over 6.000 employees’ records stored in 59 four-drawer filing cabinets. They decided to adopt document automation software. Going paperless resulted in zero hassle and $65,820 annual savings.

Myth #5. Document management solutions are insecure.

Reality: Hacking into your desktop PC is ten times easier than breaking into a secured cloud system. And how often do you change your email password? Not that we’re judging (because we’re not), but your documents folder is a lot more vulnerable to cyber threats. Given the intention, your sensitive data could be exposed as quickly as if the same person would walk into your office and take the same file from your cabinet.

Let’s explore some statistics. The figures are impressive: lawyers share 11% of files with external recipients and distribute 9% of them with sensitive data to third parties. Even more, employees sent approximately one-fifth of collaboration requests outside their organization to Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail. Such actions create significant legal issues, resulting in data breach threats and consequences.

Lawyers share 11% of files with external recipients and distribute 9% of them with sensitive data to third parties.

Security is central to any document automation software, the same way it is to banks and hospitals. With legal document management solutions at hand, all your sensitive data stays safe and protected. Vendors go all the way, subjecting their systems to various security tests and employ timely protocols to make sure client data is intact.

They are legally bound to inform you about the data they collect, the way it is stored and used. AXDRAFT, for instance, has bank-level security: TLS 1.2+ and AES-256 data encryption and has recently passed SOC-2 certification.

Myth #6: My clients prefer paper/MS Word documents.

Reality: Do they really? 2020 has shown us that the only way to onboard new clients is to deliver a digital experience in lots of cases. On top of that, your clients found out that digital documents are a lot more convenient, saving you plenty of time and resources. Your clients are already expecting you to meet them where they are—and they are online. Beyond that, as everyone went digital in 2020, inboxes got overcrowded, which means if you deliver your documents via email, it’s a lot easier for them to get lost in the pile of promotional mail.

But a paper-based document management system, above all, means significant time and financial losses. That’s what the statistics say. Almost 45% of companies spend a week (sounds terrifying, doesn’t it) just to sign a contract. Manual document management results in 21% overall staff productivity loss due to record issues. Besides, 83% of professionals recreate papers missing in the law firm network. 50% of the time is lost in document drafting. 92% of collaborating lawyers are at risk of losing files through email use, not to mention email file sharing may put their company at risk.

Almost 45% of companies spend a week just to sign a single contract.

Now let us give you some statistics that speak in favor of document automation software. As of 2019, the global document management system market amounted to $4.89 billion and is likely to gain $10.17 billion in revenue by 2025, marking a compound annual growth rate of 13.04% during the next five years.

The document management solutions market is constantly changing and improving, prompted by the need for increased workplace efficiency. In time, digital legal document management solutions will gradually eliminate traditional paper files to go green.

Myth #7: Document automation software is only good for document drafting per se.

Reality: High-quality client document management software tools are seamlessly integrated into your existing tech stack and workflows. It is vital to create an undivided client experience. You can use the tools for single purposes, such as document drafting, or get the functionality to cover your document’s entire life cycle, including negotiation, redlining, signing, and analyzing. Your document management software can improve document quality by mimicking existing processes.

As you can see, the document automation software market sets the bar high, offering law firms multiple features to meet specific business targets. Let’s unlock some tricks on how AXDRAFT handles the race. The document automation software delivers complete version control, integrations with other services (connected to the US and 42 other countries’ corporate registers, to be exact), sophisticated search and reporting options, document drafting, tag management, document backup, collaboration, user roles, and notifications.

This is just a short list of how your business can benefit from document automation. In fact, the feature set contains dozens of remarkable options.

Well, now we’ve debunked all the myths. We hope we have convinced you there is no need to be afraid of adopting client document management solutions. After all, as you can see, everyone can only benefit from going digital.

The bottom line

As much as we would love to live like the old days, we can’t. A way of life is disappearing – and that’s great. Although we’re all cooped up due to COVID-19, the power is in our hands to do everything to embrace the changes and conquer the legal tech market to avoid legal burnout.

To win the race, today’s law firms are continuously facing the challenge of reducing costs and streamlining work processes while creating novel approaches that compare favorably with competitors. Rolling out legal tech solutions is one way a firm can have it all.

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