Historically, the legal industry has been hesitant to adopt new technologies. However, replacing archaic tools with leading-edge entity management software has become a necessity in the modern legal ecosystem, thanks to an increased demand for transparency, data security, and efficiency.
Whether you are a legal professional employed by a large corporate entity or are a part of a private firm, you have likely observed these emerging trends yourself. With that being said, it can be quite challenging to identify the right entity management platform for the needs of your organization.
While locating quality technology should be at the core of your decision-making process, it is equally important to partner with a vendor that has the expertise and capacity to support your unique business objectives. In order to aid your efforts, we have created this guide to evaluating legal entity management software.
Cloud-Based vs. On-Prem Legal Technology
Before we discuss how you can evaluate your entity management software, it is important to identify the two primary classes of legal technology that you will encounter during your search. These solutions can be classified as either cloud-based or on-prem (on-premises or on-site).
As the name suggests, on-prem solutions rely on servers and other hardware stored at your business. On-prem legal technologies can support the needs of your organization, but they are typically far more expensive and harder to scale than cloud-based solutions.
Conversely, cloud-based entity management software relies on off-site servers that are managed by a third-party vendor. Due to this major difference, cloud solutions are extremely scalable, less costly, and offer superior agility.
What to Look for When Purchasing Entity Management Software
If you want your digital transformation to be a success, then you must find a vendor that can address all four pillars of entity management, which are as follows:
As your in-house legal team or private law firm seeks to “go digital," maintaining a high level of operational and data security must be at the top of your priority list. Cyberattacks continue to increase in sophistication and frequency. These malicious acts pose a severe threat to business continuity and brand reputation.
Therefore, it is essential that the software you choose incorporates rigorous security protocols and innovative threat protection solutions. In addition, we recommend selecting a solution that offers continuous threat monitoring, as this ensures that you can proactively respond to potential breaches or other disruptive events.
Partnering with a vendor that offers exceptional security will also aid your efforts to avoid any regulatory violations. In turn, this will reduce your risk of incurring any fines or other penalties as a result of non-compliance.
The basic purpose of entity management software is to increase your ability to manage, regulate, and monitor important data. While this feature alone will have a net benefit for your organization, it is vital that you seek a solution that offers much more than just the bare minimum.
Instead, you should invest in purpose-built legal technology that addresses the unique pain points of your organization.
The entity management software that you select should include an entire suite of tools and functionalities that streamline every data touchpoint across your organization. Such features may include virtual minute book software, eSignature capabilities, and advanced analytics tools.
Many legal teams and law firms are hesitant to adopt new entity management software because they are concerned that the transition will be extremely disruptive. While any large-scale data migration can certainly present its fair share of challenges, these hurdles are not overwhelming with the right support.
Before settling on a particular entity management system, we recommend discussing the entire process with your prospective vendor.
Ensure that you cover important topics such as onboarding, training, the migration itself, and what resources the vendor will provide to facilitate a smooth transition. This discussion should inspire confidence, put your team at ease, and make you confident that you are choosing the right vendor for your needs.
As you are well aware, information technology evolves much more rapidly than products within other industries.
In light of this fact, it is vital that you choose an entity management partner that is committed to continued innovation. Otherwise, your “leading edge” investment will quickly become yesterday’s news, which will place your organization at a distinct disadvantage.
Consider how the vendor’s vision aligns with your own long-term business goals. Does the vendor plan on investing in the product to enhance its functionality and implement more powerful tools? If so, then they will be well-positioned to support your organization both now and well into the future.
By leveraging the information outlined above, you can begin your search for the ideal entity management software for your in-house legal team or private firm. If you would like to learn more about how to find the right legal software, download our Essential Checklist for Evaluating Legal Technology.