If you’re considering a new intranet, there are a lot of decisions to make. Should we custom build the intranet on our own or with the help of a vendor? Should we leverage an intranet platform to reduce costs and speed up the timeline? Should we use an industry agnostic platform or something legal-specific? There are dozens of intranet platforms out there from which to choose. However, that number shrinks to just a few platforms if you are looking at one designed specifically for the legal industry. So why would you limit the choice when there are dozens of industry agnostic options available?
There are many reasons you might want to choose an industry-specific solution and partner for your project. Every industry has concepts and nuances that impact project strategy. This is especially true in legal. Below are some examples of these nuances:
- Organizational hierarchy – Who is typically in charge of technology initiatives, and how are decisions made?
- Stakeholders – How do the various groups of stakeholders (KM, IT, finance, marketing, etc.) engage and work together, and which group is responsible for what?
- Communication norms – What is the communication protocol between consultants/vendors and relevant parties within the firm?
- Firm priorities – What are the output expectations of attorneys, and how do they influence the critical success factors of the project?
- Social connections – How do firm employees interact and stay connected with one another as they collaborate on matters and projects?
- Strategic role of technology – At what level do law firms invest in technology, and what are their attitudes and preferences toward concepts like cloud computing, etc.?
- Systems – What systems are most important to the firm, and where/how are they leveraged by each group of stakeholders?
In addition to understanding the nuances above that really define law firm culture, there are big advantages to leveraging a partner committed to the industry. For example, having a project fail is absolutely not an option at Infodash because the cost of that failure would be very high. Our parent company Acrowire has invested 14 years and millions of dollars establishing its good name within the legal industry, and a failure would put all that brand equity at risk. If a vendor without that sort of investment in the industry fails, there’s much less at risk and they can just move on to the next deal.
Partners that focus on law firms are also typically less expensive. The learning curve is much less steep since they come to the table informed and don’t have to ask as many questions. This reduces the billable time spent on your project as well as the demands on your staff’s time by not requiring them to get the partner up to speed. At Infodash, for example, we work primarily with law firms, so our product is evolving in alignment with industry needs, which further increases ROI.
It’s hard to think of many reasons why you wouldn’t want to partner with an expert in your industry. Legal partners know your systems, how to work with your organization, are more committed to success and their product is built specifically for the use cases your firm needs to accommodate!