THE BENEFITS ARE MANY
In business, data is king. When a law firm has access to good quality cross-departmental data, they can do so much with it: strategically and operationally plan for growth, improve efficiencies and ultimately enjoy better financial performance.
Seamless interoperability also opens firms up to a range of positive opportunities and outcomes. Not only are they able to generate a greater return on the investment for the applications they’re using, but they are able to build stronger relationships with clients. It allows firms to access information across all departmental systems easily so that they can have more productive conversations with clients, showing them that they truly understand what they need today, tomorrow and beyond.
Plus, at an operational level, firms can understand the basis behind management decisions internally, and how efficient the firm is across different departments. With this information, they can make the business more efficient, strengthen their teams and make good business decisions.
“Interoperability gives law firms an unmatched power. It allows them to leverage integrations and data, giving them a greater business advantage and a higher level of business intelligence.”
How can you make your system integrations ready for data interoperability?
Many firms will spend time building a case for a Microsoft-first strategy because they have seen another firm use it, or they assume it will be what’s best for them because it’s the core technology they rely on.
But the most important thing to consider is how to join data from disparate systems in a way that creates insights that would otherwise be unavailable through a single system. Another factor to consider is whether the firm’s existing applications are the right ones to go forward with. This can bring with it challenges for interoperability, especially when a law firm has a number of different applications in the cloud and on-premises.
BUILDING FOR INTEROPERABLE SOLUTIONS
To figure out what they need and what needs to be done, firms need to reverse the planning process. Instead of approaching it from a technical point of view, look at the end result that they want and go from there. Your desired business outcome will help to illuminate the steps you need to take to get interoperability right for your firm.
Having powerful systems is great, and joining systems is even better. That said, law firms also have to establish the quality of their data and how to surface that data. Interoperability of systems through integrations needs to allow you to use the power of your data better than you could through a standalone application. You need an effective data strategy to understand how you’re going to use the data joined together from multiple systems.
When working on a data strategy, ask yourself, “What’s the information I want to surface to my lawyers, and what’s the information I want to surface to the business stakeholders?” Work out your knowledge performance indicators (KPIs) and management information needs for both internal and external reporting. Once you’ve done that, you can understand how your systems need to interoperate to deliver the information.