Cloud, Advanced Redaction and Experience-focused Search Will Be the Key Knowledge Management Capabilities Professional Services Firms Will Seek in 2023
Javier Magaña García, Chief Technical Officer at Lexsoft Systems, offers his views on the drivers of knowledge management (KM) in the professional services sectors in 2023:
· Firms will make knowledge management migration to the cloud a functional priority
Since the pandemic, adoption of a software as a service model for business-critical systems, has become a major priority for most organisations. Cloud technology has proven its mettle, with number one perceived issue previously preventing firms from adopting the technology – i.e., data security – fading away. Firms that were already in the cloud, or were able to transition to the cloud quickly during the pandemic, experienced far lesser operational issues.
As a result, with firms now truly adopting a cloud-first and mobile-first IT strategy – and especially for document management in a decentralised working environment – adopting a similar approach for knowledge management will be among the key initiatives for this function in 2023. This is because an on-premises knowledge management system with the document management solution in the cloud will greatly diminish the value of the KM function for the firms.
· Compliance with data privacy laws will drive adoption of automatic redaction
The complexity of complying with, not just the European Union’s GDPR, but also with all the competing country-specific data privacy laws worldwide, is increasingly challenging professional services firms. Interestingly, whilst cloud-based knowledge management (versus on-premises installations) offers tremendous potential for sharing and repurposing the collective knowledge and expertise of the firm for competitive advantage, successful compliance of the multitude of data privacy laws possibly makes the sharing of information challenging. Firms need to find an operational solution that embeds compliance with all the jurisdictional data privacy regimes across the multiple cloud-based business functional systems and web services deployed in the organisation, so that knowledge is accessible and yet secure per the dictates of the various laws.
Whilst the bigger solution to this problem is still to be found, in 2023, within the knowledge management space, firms will look to deploy automatic redaction to help ensure data privacy and confidentiality. Automatic redaction will help firms anonymise data based on their contractual obligations to clients whilst enabling the different departments to share case and matter-related closing folders, bound volumes, and other similar document libraries.
· Identifying “experience” will be a key deliverable of knowledge management
Knowledge management as a business function has made strides in the last three years, in terms of maturity. Whilst searching for specific documents is a staple functionality that is typically used by professionals in their knowledge management systems, in a well-embedded hybrid working environment, in 2023 users will increasingly turn to their technology solution to identify the firm’s “experience” in areas of law, subject matters or any other related aspect of their professional work. For example, a professional working on a M&A matter – in addition to searching for a specific type of document in this area – may also want to identify experts in the firm in the M&A space, say in a different vertical to the industry the current case is relating to. This means that knowledge management systems will need a level of intelligence to provide search results that span multiple and even contextual sources.