Legal outsourcing business objectives

In the latest issue of the Edge International Communiqué, Chris Bull has written an insightful article on legal outsourcing "Considering Outsourcing; But Do You Really Know Why?". In this article Chris Bull analyses the business objectives for outsourcing, which many law firms seem to forget in the rush to jump on the outsourcing trend.

As Chris Bull explains: "There is no getting away from the swell of interest law firms and corporate legal departments are showing in using outsourcing as a business tool. The trend has been given a very strong helping hand by the depressed economic climate but it began building back before any bank failed. The legal world operates on a 'fast follower' model and the steady growth of outsourcing means Managing Partners and General Counsel now regularly get, "Hey the competition is outsourcing - shouldn't we be doing that?"

Instead, Chris Bull suggests, law firms need to think about what they are trying to achieve. "Edge International's model for evaluating these issues has a few layers (we often assess 9 primary business drivers and then 18 criteria to determine the best location for outsourced or captive shared service operations). But right upfront there are five fundamental questions:

  • What are your financial targets?
  • What is the quality the business needs?
  • Are you ready for jobs to be relocated and lost?
  • How do you actually think a provider will do this better than you?
  • Have you considered the internal alternatives?

I find too often management hasn't really sifted the whole range of other options to outsourcing. Always consider the alternatives, including investing in automation ("cloud computing" is throwing up some interesting options previously unavailable to many businesses), relocating to your own low-cost center or teaming up with other businesses in a consortium model."

The full article can be read on JD Supra: "Considering outsourcing? Do you really know why? (Edge Int'l)".

You also have the possibility share Chris Bull's insights on Knowledge Management from the firm management perspective, the interface between KM & IT and knowledge process outsourcing at VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum on 4 October. Do not miss this great opportunity to listen to one of the leading international advisers to law firms on leadership, management and strategy.  For more information and registration, please see the VQ Forum event page.


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