I recently presented at the annual Sinch Online Legal Services Conference (SOLSC) in Sydney. Presenters and attendees included innovative lawyers, legal entrepreneurs and other "rebels" remaking the business of Law (in SOLSC’s own words). My topic was commercial information management (CIM) and what it means to the legal industry. CIM is a term used to describe methodologies or software that help an organisation or firm manage commercial information they use in the process of delivering their core services (usually about clients) in an organised way.
This year, the well-known SOLSC had an interesting focus – to explore creative destruction at work and the new battleground: convenience. A quick internet search would tell you that convenience is the quality of being suitable to one's comfort, purpose or need. CIM is not necessarily a new concept, but when used resourcefully, it indeed could have the quality of being suitable to a professional services provider’s comfort, purpose or need. Let me explain. By comfort, I mean the ease of using a CIM platform to manage commercial information, and this includes acquiring commercial information such as information available from an ASIC or a PPSR search, as well as retaining, retrieving and refreshing that information in a reliable and secure way. By purpose, I mean getting the right commercial information to the right person, at the right time. This could be for completing a due diligence exercise, or providing comprehensive expert advice. By need, I mean the requisite of having a competitive edge in this ever-evolving business world. Excellence in CIM aids a professional services provider’s ability to analyse, communicate and act. For example, if a firm could have the ability to extract and analyse data that could potentially be converted into insightful information, and then present this insight in a format that enables decision makers within the firm to act, and you can do this better than others in the market, then this is a real competitive advantage.
The key message I had for the conference audience was this – CIM is an emerging discipline, CIM is here to stay, and CIM excellence is definitely possible. This is also the message I want to share with you today. As we transition further into the world of needing fast and accurate commercial information in order to service clients, having a convenient, innovative CIM solution that meets your search and review requirements is the “new normal”, and finding that unique solution would propel your business beyond the competition.
This post first appeared on SAI Global's Commercial Information Management News Edition 01, July 2015.