One of the fastest growing trends in the legal industry is the implementation of advanced technology, such as collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, workflow automation software, and legal document management software. According to a recent report, technology spend increased 4.8% in 2020, up from 3.3% in 2019, as a means to better support remote workforces during the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment in technology is expected to continue and possibly accelerate in 2022.
Some law firms lag, though: Concerns about factors such as budget or cloud security are still preventing some firm leaders from investing in advanced tools. This hesitancy to invest in cloud technology may soon prove detrimental, as the number of professionals who want to work remotely at least one day a week has doubled since the start of the pandemic, increasing from 37% to 76% in one year. Without cloud-based technology to support them, remote professionals will struggle with workflow and collaboration.
Rather than yielding to these fears, firms should instead research which tools best fit their needs and will help them meet their short- and long-term goals. For example, many modern cloud-based services offer a scalable and secure platform to allow secure file sharing for law firms, and can save firms money in the long run by eliminating costs related to manual upgrades and server maintenance. Workflow automation software can also increase efficiency and allow legal professionals to take on more business.
Developing a strong tech strategy is also essential to improving work performance. This can be especially true at midsize firms, which often lack the necessary resources to efficiently keep up with work volume. Legal document management software can help midsize firm professionals streamline workflows, access data from a single place, and complete projects more quickly and accurately — ultimately improving both client satisfaction and firm profitability.
Leveraging the benefits of Microsoft Teams
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, firms became highly motivated to invest in technology like collaboration and communication platforms to support their remote and hybrid workforces. Many firms turned to Microsoft 365, which offers market-leading technology infrastructure, top-tier security, and applications like Microsoft Teams.
Currently, Microsoft Teams boasts more than 250 million active users, and lets professionals easily connect their people and information in one place. However, because Microsoft Teams isn’t purpose-built for law firms, it doesn’t always meet all the needs of legal professionals straight out of the box.
To address these overlooked issues, law firms might consider investing in multiple, potentially expensive third-party systems, but these tools don’t always integrate seamlessly with one another and can disrupt workflow. Additionally, it’s difficult for professionals to track and control information governance for multiple disparate systems.
Alternatively, some firms are still using more traditional methods, such as storing data in spreadsheets or documents. However, these outdated methods can increase the risk of inaccurate or misplaced information, making it difficult for professionals to access data quickly and easily.
Ultimately, the best solution is to invest in a purpose-built tool — like Intapp Collaboration & Content — that integrates with Microsoft Teams to improve Microsoft Teams governance and fill in the gaps to meet a law firm’s requirements.
Combining the power of Intapp and Microsoft
In February 2022, Intapp announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft to help partner-led firms across the professional and financial services industries accelerate their cloud migration plans and leverage the full power of their software and services.
Using Microsoft Azure as its preferred platform, Intapp applications integrate not only with one another but with Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft technologies. Since the Intapp integration doesn’t affect the storage of information, firms can easily share folders and manage large quantities of client data while remaining compliant with corporate security policies.
Intapp Collaboration & Content was designed with legal professionals in mind, and includes built-in features such as:
- Governance and automation
- DMS and PMS integrations
- A unified matter-centric user experience
Intapp Workspaces, part of the Intapp Collaboration & Content suite, provides engagement-centric intelligence and automation within Microsoft Teams to enhance collaboration and improve Microsoft Teams workflow, leading to better business outcomes. Firms can easily manage the creation and lifecycle of their various teams, and ensure that only the appropriate teams have access to certain information.
Legal professionals can also leverage Intapp Documents, which orchestrates document management across all content sources for full lifecycle visibility and engagement-centric collaboration. This legal document management software offers built-in file synchronization and interoperability, and connects your firm’s Microsoft 365 applications with existing file systems.
Finally, users of Intapp Collaboration & Content can leverage Intapp Client Collaboration to build templated external collaboration portals — with tailored structures, security, client branding, and secure approval mechanisms — to better manage document access and improve client collaboration within Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
Schedule a demo today to discover how Intapp Collaboration & Content can better connect your professionals and clients.
 2021 Report on the State of the Midsize Legal Market: A surprisingly strong year to build upon. Thomson Reuters, 2021, 8.