Just as other industries, the legal industry is also experiencing the effects of globalization and technological innovations. This sector is seeing changes in the overall working style, with more focus on enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. As the business starts growing, it takes up more and more projects and would need the support of an external team of skilled workers to manage the rising volume of work. This is when the business resorts to back office outsourcing to improve productivity and efficiency. In law firms, outsourcing legal document scanning has become an increasingly popular option. Law firms deal with a huge amount of paperwork and many of these firms have file cabinets filled with documents generated by various cases. These documents include contracts, affidavits, images, medical documents, police reports, court transcripts and so on. All these need to be scanned and digitized so that they can be easily located and shared.
According to Statista, the global outsourcing market overall amounted to 85.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, and legal process outsourcing is a part of this market. The major outsourcing and litigation scanning trends that we saw in 2018 will continue to be significant in 2019 and beyond. Companies that implemented these trends have seen their business operations transform for the better.
Here are some major trends to note for the coming years.
- A notable increase in outsourcing: The year 2018 witnessed an increasing number of legal entities adopting the outsourcing model. Many lawyers are utilizing solutions such as outsourced litigation scanning services. With more outsourcing firms proving themselves efficient and trustworthy, legal entities are more confidently outsourcing sensitive processes such as legal document scanning to external scanning services. This facilitates their digital transformation and better data management. This trend is very likely to continue through 2019 and 2020.
- Outsourcing partners required to provide diverse solutions: Legal firms and lawyers prefer to outsource their various projects to the same vendor or to fewer vendors whom they trust and are confident about. This has resulted in LPO firms offering more options including litigation scanning, OCR solutions, electronic data recovery and photocopying among others. With organizations having to focus on new regulations such as the GDPR, adopt new technologies to transform and evolve, meet increasing customer demands and function in highly competitive markets, they need to work with BPO companies that evolve with them and provide value-added services in the large-volume digitization and document capture/processing needs they have.
- Cloud-based imaging: Document management solutions in the cloud are being increasingly used by enterprises. According to an AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) survey, within the next few years, 75% of respondents are looking to adopt some form of ECM (Enterprise Content Management) in the cloud, while 26% are already using cloud ECM. Mobile and cloud services enable legal professionals to function via virtual environments, even from their own homes. The cloud technology allows documents to be uploaded to the cloud anytime from anywhere with a working internet connection. The uploaded documents are secure and can be accessed by the authorized people. The cloud has made document storage much more affordable and made information accessible from any location. Increased demand for digital transformation and cloud-based storage has led to increased demand for value-added document scanning and conversion services as well.
Legal businesses, just as those in other business sectors expect more from their business process outsourcing partners including document scanning outsourcing companies. Accordingly, we are witnessing massive change brought about by the use of new technologies, and increased focus on handling more document and information formats. These are with a view to provide the best customer experience. BPO firms on their part are shifting towards value-added services in a changing business environment, while also addressing concerns such as costs, overhead, and speedier processing of data from business documents. Providers of professional, high-speed and high-volume document scanners, vendors of advanced document capture and processing software and information management solutions, and providers of services and solutions to document service bureaus and BPOs overall are all changing the ways they work with their clients (the outsourcing service providers) in order to help them address the above-mentioned challenges and make the best use of opportunities that come with them while enhancing and transforming the ways they function.
Outsourcing has revolutionized how businesses function today and it has brought many opportunities for businesses to grow and expand. Outsourcing will continue to survive in the future, as it provides companies access to specialized skills and helps save on time and effort, which can be channelled into the other core business ventures. Here are some of the general outsourcing trends predicted for the future:
- Cost pressure will make way for custom outsourcing contracts that are flexible in their SLAs.
- Small businesses or start-ups will witness a higher adoption of outsourcing in order to reduce the operational inefficiencies and increase their time to market.
- Outsourcing relationships will become standardized, and process- and people- driven rather than price driven.
- Europe and Latin America can be a competition to India, the favored outsourcing destination.
- Many high-end critical business functions will be outsourced in the next decade and outsourcing of low-end services will stabilize.
- Manufacturing and pharmaceutical businesses will move to cheaper destinations to make use of low labor and operating cost.
- Increasing costs of raw materials, transportation and oil makes it important for companies to look at outsourcing in order to keep their operating costs low.
The prospects of outsourcing in 2019 and the years ahead are exciting. The millennials are entering the workforce in increasing numbers and they are well-equipped to bring legal and other businesses into the digital age. The coming years will see adoption of more cloud-based computing, networking and document storage solutions. This will in turn increase the productivity and efficiency of the business office while saving the organization money and valuable time.
So, if you are planning to outsource your back office functions then make sure to choose a professional back office outsourcing service to ensure a seamless workflow.