Are you following the herd?

I've been following the Above and Beyond KM Blog which is written by V Mary Abraham for some time now. In fact I can remember reading blog posts from this blog in my very first role in a law firm, which was some time ago now!

Often V Mary Abraham will write a blog post that really strikes a chord with me and her latest does exactly that. Called "Intranet ignorance is not bliss" Mary looks at some of the choices Law Firms have in relation to the software that they use.

Mary explains that there are three choices that Law Firms can make when it comes to deciding what software they're going to use:

  •  Purpose built software, that is software that is built specifically for Law Firms
  • Client preferred software, that is software that their clients are using and so using it would make life easier for the law firm to use the same software
  • Herd default software, this is software that isn't designed to be used by Law Firms,  but everyone seems to be using it, therefore everybody else has to use it. The example Mary provides of this type of software is SharePoint.

As Mary explains using the first two types of software makes a lot of sense for Law Firms, because ultimately it will make the Law Firm and the clients lives easier. So of course the big question is why use software that isn't designed for Law Firms and isn't being used for clients aka SharePoint?

Mary then explains some of the reaons why Law Firms do so and cites the "herd default" as one of the reasons so many Law Firms are using SharePoint as their software of choice, especially in relation to Document Management, Enterprise Content Management and the provision of an intranet.

Of course there are many credible alternatives to SharePoint and Mary talks about one of these in particular Interact Intranet and that she will be publishing a white paper on how Interact Intranet might be helpful for KM Departments within Law Firms. This sounds like it will definitely be of interest for Law Firms and ultimately any organisation who are looking at their options for intranet solutions.