Are you thinking of investing in a new case management system, but not sure where to start? Take a look at our top tips.
Legal case management software solutions have been around for many years, all created with the same goal: to make managing case files easier. The benefits of this, including more efficient working, better collaboration and significant time savings, are well established. However, many firms are still hesitant to make the move or to upgrade from an outdated software solution. How does a firm ensure that they are making the right choice?
What Is the Best Way to Store My Data?
Whilst the business trend is definitely towards the cloud nowadays, there are still many reasons why businesses should consider an on-premises server solution.
- The firm has full control of their data at all times.
- Not reliant on an internet connection.
- The upfront costs of purchasing a new server can be high. However, if a server is already in place then adding a case management to it can be cheaper than purchasing cloud software, where storage must be paid for every time.
- Firm trusts their data to a third party provider. Reputable providers can be very safe, but firms must ensure that their practice management solution is storing their data in a GDPR-compliant manner within the EU.
- Provides full mobility. A pure cloud solution can be accessed on any device.
- No upfront costs for infrastructure and the product can be more easily scaled up and down e.g. adding or removing licences when needed.
What Functionality Do I Need?
Modern case management solutions will promise all sorts of ‘bells and whistles’.
There are a few basic functionality requirements that all firms should cover – take a look at our blog to find out what case management software features every lawyer needs. However, it is important to consider the needs, the technology competency and the amount of time available for customisation within the firm.
For example, eXpd8 has two case management systems available. eXpd8 Software is designed to be very quick to learn and has a reputation for being the easiest to use case management software. As a consequence, users tend to learn the software very quickly, spend minimal time on customisation and use the vast majority of the features from the beginning.
Thread Legal is a cloud case management software. It is also intuitive to use, but also comes with additional advanced functionality such as granular access control, end to end workflow customisation, advanced template customisation and advanced document sharing functionality. This functionality allows firms to do more, but does require additional learning/ training and time to customise it to the unique needs of the firm.
Advanced functionality can provide significant time saving and security ROI for firms who make full use of them. However, firms can often be swayed by functionality ‘they might use’, but in reality never take the time to implement.
What Integrations for My Case Management System Do I Need?
A case management system does not work in a silo. Practice management software needs to work with all of these other system elements such as emails, document management and finance in order to be effective.
If, like the majority of law firms, Microsoft Office is being used for documents and emails, then a chosen solution should integrate with this.
Whether using an all-in-one or combined case management and accounting system, the system should be capable of legal accounting in order to fulfil Law Society regulations.
Whilst case management systems will most likely say that they do all of these things, it is important to look at whether this is ‘native functionality’ or an integration and the quality of any integration. It needs to pass all the information you need from one system to another.
Tips for Selecting the Right Case Management System
When selecting a case management system, the most important thing is to ensure that not only is it a good system – it is a system that suits firm-specific requirements and matches the way that the firm likes to do business.
When a case management system does not match a firm, even the best system can feel like an imposition for employees. When it aligns with the users and therefore provides them tangible benefits within their working day, then everyone wins!
A case management system is computer software used by businesses to manage multiple case files. It is often used by lawyers, accountants, real estate and other professional services industries.
Cloud case management is an online system for managing files. Data is stored in external data centres and accessed through an internet-connected application
Server case management is a system for managing files. Data is stored by user on their own server infrastructure.