Legal Tech Race
How to Shorten Time to Value
The photo above depicts a roadblock to progress. Can it be that the data ecosystems in law firms and corporate legal departments are NOT READY for digital transformation? Legal technology thinker, speaker, and writer Colin S. Levy comments about this:
“Before even looking at a tool, they need to have a holistic view of their existing processes. They need to understand how they complete tasks and where the pain points in their existing processes are. They need to understand why the pain points are pain points. They also need to understand what roles specific individuals play in those processes and why they play those roles.” — Colin Levy
Stop the Dominoes
Last year we spoke with an independent consultant who previously had been a technology director for a notable European firm. He and his team completed an extremely successful proof of concept pilot project for automating the changing of tires on fleet vehicles.
Much to their dismay they could not scale up this pilot project due to gigantic problems encountered with the information infrastructure in their corporation. Someone put their hand down and stopped the dominoes from falling. Tremendous amounts of time and money were wasted, which waste could have been otherwise avoided by assessing strengths and weaknesses and getting their house in order prior to or in parallel with that pilot project.
The Race is On
Gartner predicts Legal Tech spending will INCREASE THREEFOLD by 2025. They comment as follows in a Gartner Newsroom article dated February 10, 2021:
“Legal departments are expanding their use of technology to support workflows and meet productivity demands. Therefore, developing a comprehensive, multiyear technology strategy that can adapt to changes in the corporate environment and advancements in the technology market will be critical to success.” (https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-02-10-gartner-predicts-legal-technology-budgets-will-increase-threefold-by-2025 )
But the race is not to the swift, but to the forward thinking who take time at the very beginning to get their systems ready before getting too far down the road with their Legal Tech initiatives.
“More and more clients are now realizing that they need to have their structure in place before embarking on a CLM implementation.” — Frank Ready, ALM Media, Can Legal Departments Get CLM Tech Right Before ‘Everyone Gets Too Angry’? Sept. 29, 2021, Law.com article
Addressing Systems Issues First — Saves You Time and Money
The external environment is giving a strong signal for a need for change. Of all the dimensions of organizational health, adaptation is the one most strongly correlated with output measures. External demands for change can’t be ignored. Great leaders are perpetual learners.
We are definitely in a growth crisis, so proactively adapting by putting in place required changes is key to surviving and thriving. Having said that, it is vitally important that some shiny new tool not be the sole focus of your Legal Tech implementation. Consider these comments from Memme Onwudiwe:
“During the implementation of a new CLM tool, the biggest first issue is the fact that, basically, to have a successful implementation, you want your new contract management tool to have all your contracts, and all the data about your contracts. And those two things are the two hardest things. The first thing is centralizing all your contracts, making sure that all the different silos where your different teams store your contracts are in one spot. You want this new system to have all your contracts so you can have full visibility into your contracting and have it drive your business and answer questions with certainty. This will ensure that you’re understanding everything and nothing is being left out.” (Memme Onwudiwe, Executive VP of Evirsort, quoted in Lawrina’s e-book, Lawyers’ Work and Productivity In The ‘New Normal’)
Is your information infrastructure in a high state of readiness? My colleague John Lindsey has written an article on that very topic, The AI Economy: Are You Ready?
It is a great 4 min read which you will find very insightful. You can find it at https://johnl-10421.medium.com/readiness-its-as-close-as-you-can-get-to-a-guarantee-adb873bc088c