The ever-changing legal practice and case management world

SaaS (software as a service), and an increasingly globalised supplier market seem to be re-moulding the practice management and case management world.

Lights-On Consulting highlight some of the opportunities – and challenges of the rapidly changing world of legal IT.

The larger practice management system (PMS) providers appear to be re-engineering and gearing up for working with smaller firms, whilst SaaS PMS providers in the SME market are spreading their wings into larger client spaces.

What used to be a clear “black and white divider” – multi-currency – is blurring a little with new UK entrants in the SME PMS world handling multi-currency far better than the “old guard” SME PMS systems where having a million Rand in the bank threw the overall balances out a little!

Some of the smaller, newer case management systems have been designed and built for SaaS delivery from the get-go and don’t face the technical debt of other systems.

The API race is on to make public and simplify connecting systems together. Everyone wants a simple set of switches to throw that will connect systems seamlessly, with no integration development work in a similar fashion to connecting an accredited Xero app to Xero.

Democratised IT is looking for visual low-code / no-code development for forms, reports, workflow and process logic and it is now emerging with less and less “scripting” and “SQL coding” unless you need to extend the built-in functionality.

At the same time, Gartner Magic Quadrant system providers are looking at the legal market to bring well-established SaaS workflow solutions to legal.

Finally, Microsoft is throwing its hat in the ring with low-code / no-code workflow solutions and platforms and some providers are connecting and embracing this to allow a hybrid world.

But with all this SaaS and, ultimately, ability to bolt SaaS systems together with built-in integrations, comes the need to manage multi-party, differing time zone providers and differing maintenance and release schedules, demanding increased cadence of test and release management within law firms. Without attention to this we will find ourselves asking “which system has broken it?” whilst billable hours slip by.

Added to all the above is the need to protect your data. To ensure you can get it back if the need ever arises and ensuring all your connected systems and data stay on the right side of GDPR and cyber security.

It’s going to make for an interesting few years ahead!

If you have any views or want to discuss anything about the above, please do get in touch.

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