For a lawyer, document management is fundamentally important. However, for many lawyers their actual systems fall below best practice.
The board would be horrified if they knew.
Many in house lawyers use email folders to store their documents, and some devise very clever and elaborate structures for that. However, this is frustrating for their colleagues when they look for files, and it means that once the lawyer leaves the organisation the files are lost.
An even worse practice is storing company documents on personal USB drives. As well as being highly insecure, the documents cannot be shared or found by others.
Boards of directors would be horrified if they knew the extent to which their policies on company information and the Privacy Principles were widely breached by their company, including by members of the legal team who should be the exemplars of best practice.
Best practice is to have all documents, emails and electronic media in one place in a way that makes finding them simple, fast and efficient. You want to be confident you have found the latest version. The system must be secure and the practices must comply with corporate policy.
A modern system like Dazychain stores all forms of documents in one place and gives one source of truth. No more hunting for documents in various places or asking colleagues for documents. No more wondering if the version you are working on is the latest version.
Dazychain also removes all the worry about security issues. Documents are encrypted in transit and at rest. Communications go through a secure portal meaning they too are encrypted, unlike emails.
Searching for documents
The old way of searching involves using one or more systems for which you had to remember complex file structures. Inevitably, people classified documents and filed them in slightly different ways, and that means the structures weren’t logical and intuitive. Some people used their own email or desktop systems to file their documents, and their documents were only available by request, if you knew to ask.
The most modern systems, like Dazychain, present a single source of truth. All documents, in whatever format they are created, are captured and all of them are readily available.
A really great system is a single source of truth, but it also comes with all the security features which a modern organisation demands.
A great system
A great system has:
- Multiple security levels to control who can access, read, delete or edit documents, both internally and externally.
- A complete audit trail revealing the document’s lifecycle. Who downloaded it, who amended it, who emailed it.
- All communications are encrypted
- Data in is kept Australia
- Data is encrypted, both at rest and in transit.
- Disaster recovery plans are in place
- Redundancy means that if a hosting facility fails others will immediately switch in.
- Audit of every access to the system
- Daily backups.
Great systems, like Dazychain, are now readily available and affordable.