A guide to document comparison and security for corporate legal: an Osterman Research report

Electronic documents are, for many corporate legal teams, the primary ‘product’ that they manufacture. Many legal teams follow predefined document workflows and manage documents within a central repository; others choose to assemble, revise and verify information using nothing more than their email and word processing applications.

Administrative and legal professionals generate the majority of their documents using several different Microsoft productivity applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It is not uncommon for users within the same organisation to use multiple versions of the same application. These documents are then routinely sent via email to communicate and share document drafts with other team members.

In today’s organisations, documents are created, revised and reviewed on desktop computers, on the go with laptops or mobile devices such as BlackBerrys. As part of the review cycle, these documents are shared with others, who then make modifications and forward them to additional interested parties, who further revise them and circulate them again to even more people. These teams not only review and share documents but attach new versions to messages as they are distributed to co-workers, colleagues, partners and customers for input.

This guide focuses on the key challenges in managing documents in today’s companies and looks at the technology that is helping organisations with document comparison, metadata removal, content security and company-wide policy control. This guide also discusses key questions that decision makers should ask as they develop business practices and deploy technologies to resolve them…

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