Have we all heard the hype about the cloud yet? It seems we are being told cloud, cloud, cloud but we are not seeing the opportunities as they apply to our industry or business.
Recently I discovered an innovator through a LinkedIn connection and thought it was worth exploring what was being done.
The innovation was in the legal industry, one concerned with security but also dealing with large amounts of data with high pressure to share information intelligently between opposing legal parties. Imagine the amount of information to be logged and managed for a royal commission. This calls not just for a secure repository but a good system of document management that incorporates document management technology with indexing and search features.
Enter Rebecca Grant, a lawyer who saw the need and understood technology well enough to exploit the opportunity with her company icourts.
Rebecca has set up a law firm that also provides legal technology consulting and systems providing electronic evidence management tools and services. This may not seem relevant to many of us but for law firms and government agencies this is an innovative way to share information quickly and securely across wide geographic areas.
This technology also covers the needs of the traditional “data room” used by companies doing due diligence during mergers and acquisitions. This solves the problem of having to physically spend days in a room in another office to pour over the company’s documents and records. This is allowing people to securely share company information in new ways and work from anywhere in short bursts. The business broking community should be all over this offering.
This flexible approach to what was previously a very focused activity is creating new efficiencies and helping decisions to be made faster. Often a business sale process is very distracting to the two businesses involved and can have a detrimental effect to the business-as-usual of both organisations, so making this process more efficient leads to a beneficial outcome for both parties.
The systems at icourts have been deemed robust enough to be used during royal commissions. The ease of access to secure information has been shown to speed up processes, improve workflow through its managed processes and to reduce costs through the efficiencies created whilst reducing the risk of documents being lost or mishandled.
The added benefits of document management with version control and tracking of who has checked things out, and when and what changes have been made by whom and when, also ensures integrity of the processes in a reportable manner thus adding additional value to the use of the tools.
Clearly there are many other industries that could be making use of new cloud-based solutions to improve or change the way business is done in their sector to reduce risk, effort and, thus, cost. In a tough economic time there are still businesses that do well; they either provide essential services, or help others to reduce costs or, if possible, do both.
Well done, Rebecca!
If you are wondering how technology could be applied to solving some of your business problems, it may be worth finding an advisor who appreciated the capabilities of new technologies and is able to connect your problems with possible solutions.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.