In this 'tell us about your tech' interview, Maurice Tunney, IT Director at Keystone Law, reveals his top tips for small businesses.
What is your business’s best tech investment?
Earlier this year, Keystone invested in a new Document Management System (DMS) by the name of NetDocuments. It is a great product and really complements the way our lawyers work. In addition to offering all of the traditional DMS functionality, NetDocuments is not only very intuitive and easy to use, it is also cloud-based which means that our lawyers have secure access to their data wherever they are in the world. This is particularly advantageous for Keystone as our lawyers work from a variety of locations including from home, in-house with clients or from one of Keystone’s designated work hubs. Document collaboration, version control and encrypted centralised storage of data are some of the key benefits that this solution has provided us with.
What are your business’s biggest tech challenges & how do you overcome them?
The advantages that Keystone’s innovative model offers its clients often means that the firm’s IT challenges are more diverse and need to be examined from a different perspective. For example, our lawyers are not on a single domain, so rolling out new software or updates is not something that can be controlled centrally. Instead, we need to rely on a combination of good communication with the lawyers and far more manual methods. These include directing users to a secure download page, sending encrypted USB sticks with the necessary files or even remotely accessing their machines and walking them through the install/update process.
Knowing my user-base and maintaining good relationships form essential components of my role.
What new tech are you excited about?
I believe that the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) to interrogate unstructured data is something that will pay big dividends in the near future. All organisations have an abundance of their own data at their fingertips that is simply not being accessed or analysed to its potential. Going forward, this needs to change. There are limitless potential advantages to being able to predict the probable outcome of a legal matter by analysing historical data. Excellent tools are already available to slice and dice data every which way, but these are reliant on extremely structured data sets. The next important step, in my view, is the ability to analyse both structured and unstructured data quickly and easily.
What tech advice would you give to other businesses in your sector/generally?
Legal IT traditionally has a very sheep-like mentality in that law firms will often choose the same products as other organisations in the field. This might make sense for traditional firms that adopt similar ways of working but for a game-changing firm such as Keystone, IT experts need to think outside of the box. When buying a new product/service, my advice would be, speak to your user-base extensively, gather your requirements carefully and then at the end of the process make your final decision based on how the different solutions perform against your pre-defined criteria. Trail-blazing (with necessary due diligence) does have its advantages!
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