The intranet’s role in cost-cutting

Law firms face many challenges in today’s economy, but we do know that a firm’s intranet plays a role in managing costs.  The Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF), the world’s leading intranet and portal benchmarking group, offers us all the following research based conclusions about cost savings with intranet-based applications:

  • Intranets…streamline communication and the provision of information, and provide access to self-service tools that make processes more efficient.
  • In addition, increasting efficiency via intranet content or tools…is more likely to free people up to spend time on other activities. …staff are now doing smarter things with their time.

I just read some other great tidbits in an article called “Cut costs by expanding your intranet” by the eGov AU blog.  The author lists four key things you can do to help expand your intranet even when funding is in danger of being decreased.  Although not specifically geared toward law firms, the techniques are still the same: 

  1. Quantify and promote usage and satisfaction with the intranet (Make sure the actual usage and perceptions are similar, and hopefully the discussion will shift to the cost of NOT using the intranet.)
  2. Identify a senior-level sponsor (ALWAYS a good idea, if you can manage it, but make sure that person is well-respected, don’t just take anyone who agrees to do it)
  3. Take appropriate steps to increase intranet awareness and usage (An ongoing activity that could include communication, promotions, posting new information, small fixes)
  4. Identify business processes the intranet can perform more cost-effectively than via other channels (Show demonstated examples of where the intranet can save money, like reducing travel, increasing collaboration, etc.)

For more intranet tips from the IBF, see also: “Tips from Intranet Benchmarking Forum: 12 Ways to Use Your Intranet to Cut Costs” and “The Recession-Proof Intranet

~Amy Witt

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