The Truth About “DIY” Client Extranets


The Truth About “DIY” Client Extranets

With a strain on IT resources and scalability hurdles, is the perceived convenience of building client portals in-house too good to be true?

As firms have prioritized their virtual operations over the past year, many have implemented or made plans to implement legal client portals to manage a wide array of firm-to-client interactions, ranging from invoicing to document management and collaboration. These client portals have elevated the quality of service that firms offer clients through increased convenience, efficiency, security of data, and overall transparency.

However, the extent to which these portals, or extranets, are used varies from firm to firm. In an ideal scenario, all clients would have access to an online portal to manage every aspect of their relationship with the firm. This is unusual, however, as the resources required to develop these portals internally entail a significant amount of effort, rooted in one-off processes. Creating customized portals for a select number of clients results in a strain on the firm’s resources. With limited availability, it is unlikely that a firm’s existing IT staff would be able to realize the full potential of these portals for the entirety of the firm’s client base while keeping up with their everyday tasks.

While your firm may have the SharePoint technology necessary to develop an extranet, that does not mean that it makes sense for your firm to take on the challenge. The real potential of the legal client portal is realized at a scale impractical to achieve in-house. The DIY approach is a roadblock to scalability, given the extensive resources needed to develop individual portals and the correlating expense if attempted in-house.

With the growing global concern surrounding data security, stretching your IT department too thin can have disastrous results. While a firm’s IT department is typically knowledgeable about a wide range of technological solutions, the expertise and effort required to create an extranet for every client maintaining the high level of security necessary for legal data is often too difficult for one department to accomplish alone. Relying on the proven security practices delivered by an experienced solutions partner can give your firm the peace of mind that its client extranet is safe and secure.

Using a legal client portal solution, such as Aderant Drive, enables scalability through the provided framework, connectors, and templates and makes site creation quick, easy, and secure for every client and matter.

Specifically, partnering with an experienced solution provider allows your firm to:

  • Strengthen client relationships by offering extranets for every client, not just a select few
  • Reduce the IT department’s workload with quick deployment and set up of sites, including the flexibility to control administration and access to each site without additional assistance
  • Leverage existing technology investments, such as Office365, and connect assets and data from all your firm’s business systems
  • Focus valuable internal resources on higher priorities with the confidence that client data is secure

A successful approach to client portal implementation relies on your ability to scale. Is your firm ready to maximize its extranet potential? Connect with our team of experts to explore how Aderant Drive can enable your firm to achieve secure, scalable collaboration.