Information Governance (IG) is a defining feature of legal firms. This involves the correct management and assessment of client information or personal data to allow legal practices to maintain privacy while ensuring their firms show positive growth.
IG initiatives must have structure behind them to show reasonable growth. Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of a legal firm’s IG will ensure that legal resources spent on IG apply to the areas they’re needed most: improving employee productivity, reducing overhead, and creating better risk management.
To measure the success of legal initiatives, the right metrics must be used. These Key Performance Indicators (KPI) offer quantifiable data about current legal practices and highlight areas for improvement. These KPIs are typically measured by their financial impact and involve tracking the actual costs associated with implementing better IG.
Part of tracking the ROI of IG efforts means monitoring billable employee hours to identify points of redundancy. Multiple employees working on a single account may individually search for information at the same time as their colleagues, creating inefficient information management practices hard to track without a structured IG plan. For the best improvements in ROI, a single employee can be appointed as the sole custodian of client research and information storage. Better delineation of duties is one of the simplest changes that legal firms can make to improve the state of their IG.
Information storage costs are cheap compared to paper files that require physical management, but the upkeep associated with digital use has several hidden costs. Data maintenance requires extra effort from IT to catalogue, backup, and restore digital copies of legal files. Legal firms must know of these hidden costs when determining accurate metrics for their ROI assessment. Storage fees, staffing expenses, and e-discovery costs all contribute to overhead that can be reduced with better IG. Decreasing electronic information stored can bring down the staffing costs associated with its upkeep and improve employee efficiency by reducing administrative clutter.
Reducing inefficiencies and creating better organization is the heart of stronger IG. If your legal firm is interested in the administrative savings and efficiency that can be found with an information governance audit, contact iBridge LLC for an audit of your current information practices.
Written by Desh Urs
As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.
Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.