LPM supplement, October 2015: Paper to process

The last wave?

LPM magazine polled its audience on what they're doing to cut paper from their internal processes – and how they're working more digitally, and what the drivers and benefits are for that business transformation.

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What did we find?

Firms are keen to reduce their reliance on paper – monitoring printing habits, moving to digital e-file matter management, and selecting technology that supports working and collaboration with documents on screens as much as (and better than) people could manage poring over piles of papers. Key drivers of the trend include client demand for greater insight into workflow, concerns over paper security, reduced cost through less onsite storage, and overall process effficiency improvement.

However, big challenges to progress remain. Lawyers are culturally attached to paper bundles – and indeed many courts still require them. Regardless of practice group, and in the absence of strict rules over printing and storage, business services departments need to communicate the benefits of a digital-first approach clearly and consistently to effect willing, proactive and permanent change.

This report combines our research findings, responses from law firms already embarked on their digital journey, and insight into how they could do more, including from our sponsors Archive Document Data Storage, Advanced Legal, Accesspoint, Thomson Reuters UK and Ireland and SDLT.co.uk.

Findings include:

88% agree that their firms would be more efficient if more of their work was digitised

A majority of SME firms think they could realistically remove up to 59% of paper at their businesses.

A third of firms keep more than 75% of their paper files on-premise.

Around half of firms currently scan less than 25% of the paper coming in, and a large majority (92%) agree if would be useful to the firm to do more.

44% of firms don’t know enough about upcoming legislation changes around data protection and information security.

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