Knowledge Center

The future of document management systems: the cloud, security, artificial intelligence


The changing technology landscape is transforming enterprise systems across industries.  Document management systems are no exception. With the legal industry contending with increasingly sophisticated cyber threats as well as dynamic caseloads, law firms' evolving needs are driving a new generation of solutions that are more accessible, secure and intuitive. Here are three trends that are shaping the future of document management systems.

Move Toward Cloud-Based Systems

The Cloud is changing the way document management systems (DMS) are managed. Utilizing a cloud-based system offers many benefits for law firms, including increased accessibility from various devices, native security features and enhanced disaster recovery capabilities. When firms rely on premise-based solutions, they face complex logistical and technical challenges that come with maintaining their own servers. A cloud-based DMS offers reliable access from any authorized location and empowers IT teams to spend less time managing infrastructure and more time supporting their practice's core operations.

An Increased Need for Security

Keeping up with security is a never-ending process in any part of the IT industry.  A firm’s content is one of its most important assets.   In addition, clients demand that firms ensure their systems and content are secure.  Following best practices as to the handling of sensitive information is a means to stay on top of this never-ending issue.

The external perimeter is certainly important.  But if a phishing attack yields authentication credentials, internal processes must be in place as well.  Encrypting files that are sitting on the server makes sense, but encrypting updates in transit is also important. Establishing strong policies that regulate which users have permission to access and edit files is imperative.  Adherence to document security governance and the use of such techniques as ethical wall software are becoming more and more pervasive in professional services firms. 

Monitoring access activities using tools equipped with machine learning capabilities is a more advanced way to protect documents and sensitive information.  This approach can raise an alert if a user is accessing information outside his or her normal workflow, which can help to detect an attack as it is happening.

Although opinions on the effectiveness of governance and security mandates vary, the bottom line is that such measures are in place for the safety and privacy of knowledge workers. Enterprise-wide governance risk and compliance management systems aim to deliver a single, integrated management strategy across entire organizations, thereby doing away with older approaches.

Incorporating Artificial Intelligence

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology have expanded its capabilities and reduced its implementation costs. With the promise of making systems more efficient and intuitive, Document Management systems are incorporating AI in their offerings.  This makes finding, organizing and therefore utilizing content faster and more efficient.  The result is that knowledge workers can offload manual and time-consuming tasks, focusing more on high level interpretive and strategy skills.  It can be used to expedite document review workflows, enhance contract analytics and conduct better searches. 

The use of Artificial Intelligence is helping to shape advanced systems with practice-centric capabilities that go beyond storing and accessing content.  Users can perform a smart search that bases its results on the user's search history, role, document histories and other learned variables. Advanced search options empower law firms to find the files they need more quickly than conventional searches that only query the database for the terms entered. To produce the most informed results, search features can be embedded in other applications like web browsers. Over time, systems can learn the relationships between people, entities and information and make suggestions to improve the quality and efficiency of a law firm's documentation.


EIM International specializes in advising and implementing technical solutions for information-driven businesses.  We cater to businesses with high volumes of internally generated documents. By providing consulting, software and custom solutions, we drive results that are vastly superior to those of legacy systems. Contact us today for a personalized consultation on how we can help your business.