Navigating Modern Enterprise Legal Management (ELM): 5 Must-Have Capabilities
From advanced user experience to customizable workflow, here are the five functionalities to look for in a modern enterprise legal management system.
Heightened corporate demand for accountability, transparency, and collaboration in the legal department catalyzed the creation of Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) back in the 1990s – one of the early moves toward digital transformation that laid the foundation for today’s savvy legal teams.
Flash forward to today’s environment (amid shrinking budgets and staffing issues), and legal teams are more focused than ever before on automating and streamlining the tasks they repeat, day in and day out. This need is leading to an increased adoption of ELM software to manage processes like Matter Management, Spend Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, The Legal Hold Process, E-billing, & more.
Some of the most well-known benefits of this technology include the ability to:
- Increase operational efficiencies and staff time savings – for example, some of our customers here at Mitratech have cut the work involved in opening and assigning new matters by 75%
- Better control over outside legal spend with accurate e-billing and improved oversight
- Mitigate risk through early assessment and response in order to proactively protect revenue and your corporate reputation
- Create a single source of truth for legal and enable informed strategic decisions that create meaningful long-term value for the entire organization
Teams continue to adopt ELM software, but in a flooded market, they have to be pickier about which technology they choose: how do you know which platform is right for you? Without further ado, let’s dive into the five must-have capabilities to look for in a modern Enterprise Legal Management System.
Exceptional user experience
What good is an Enterprise Legal Management solution if it’s too complicated for your team to actually use? A focus on simplicity and a high degree of customization (specified to your needs and pain points) is necessary to empower end users to take charge of their ELM software experience – and their day-to-day job functions.
You need software that enables employees at every level of the organization to streamline repeatable, manual, or spreadsheet-driven processes with self-service tools. That way, you can (1) start driving process improvements with your own first-hand insights today (rather than translating those needs onto the already-full plates of your IT or project team) and (2) streamline efficiency while laying the path for seamless technology adoption down the line.
When evaluating ELM software on its user experience, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Does the platform support a modern interface that users actually want to leverage?
- Can you consolidate your team’s work across tasks like contract management, matter management, and more (as well as manage outside counsel) all on a single platform?
- Does it offer user-friendly tools such as dedicated home pages, drag-and-drop simplicity, and flexible, filtered searching?
- Can you keep track of all of your data across departments with one centralized audit trail?
- Does the platform empower frictionless collaboration between internal and external contributors while ensuring data integrity and security with robust, configurable security permissions and version control?
Advanced AI/ML capabilities
At a time when every dollar and every deal counts towards meeting quarterly and annual targets, it’s no surprise that today’s legal leaders are seeking out AI-driven technology to help streamline time-consuming, repetitive tasks. In fact, the legal industry’s artificial intelligence (AI) software market is projected to grow by 29.17% over the next five years to hit a staggering 2,587.04 million USD by 2027.
This figure makes sense when you think through its significant benefits. Advanced AI/ML capabilities integrated into your Enterprise Legal Management technology can help your team:
- Save time and drive process improvements on tasks like contract lifecycle management or invoice review (for example, predictive intelligence can assist with future contract negotiations and behaviors with dashboard reports that unveil contract status, workloads, assignees, etc.)
- Reduce errors and validate data by checking for anomalies or errors not just in contracts, but in any large data set for things like invoices, timekeeper sheets, matters, approvals, spreadsheets, contracts, and more
Drive automatic escalations based on pre-set conditions and save time on data tracking (like in the legal hold process)
Workflow automation isn’t a new tool in the legal world – it’s commonly used to streamline collaborative processes like NDA approvals, contract agreements, and more. However, not all workflow platforms are created equal.
Not only do you want to look for a no-code solution, but also a customizable one that can be tailored to your team’s unique needs and use cases.
No two legal departments operate identically, and that’s why Mitratech’s TAP workflow tool empowers users with unparalleled customization capabilities. Through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can effectively craft their own workflow mechanisms, aligning the software with their specific operational processes. This flexibility is a nod to Mitratech’s deep understanding of the diversity inherent in legal department challenges and goals. In fact, TAP’s customizable workflow is part of what earned Mitratech recognition in the Leaders category of the 2023 IDC MarketScape report for worldwide enterprise legal management software.
Seamless industry integrations
Eliminating business and information silos is top-of-mind for many organizations, but only those who take system communication seriously will ever come close to unlocking the full potential of cross-departmental collaboration. That’s why part of leveraging a consolidated and forward-looking legal tech stack is looking for integrations with business-critical systems and processes.
Not only should your systems across matter management, contract management, and more inter-communicate, but you should be able to capture and pass data from supporting applications such as: Accounts Payable, IPMS, Claims, Document Management, CRM, ERP, etc., directly into your ELM software.
When you can meet your teams where they already are, you create a more transparent and collaborative business resource for all involved business units by eliminating the need to manage multiple data inputs, translations, and transfers manually.
Matter Intake, Legal Spend Management, and a Bonus – Legal Sourcing as a Service
Driving consistency across all matter, knowledge, and financial management processes within your portfolio — across all relevant geographies — through one flexible, highly configurable ELM platform is mission-critical. By replacing spreadsheets with a centralized hub for legal operations and legal claims management – complete with unique, “as you go” dashboards, analytics, & insights — you get the data needed to inform better decision-making. Take legal spend management, for example; with the right ELM system, you not only spend less time creating and assigning legal matters, but also get the analytics to monitor and mitigate legal spend overpayment to firms.
And speaking of firms, advanced ELM partners will offer a hands-on approach to invoice review and firm management. Mitratech, for example, offers an innovative solution to Firm and Panel Management, AdvanceLaw. In a two-pronged approach, Advancelaw provides a data-driven marketplace of carefully vetted, star lawyers across several practice areas for its members. In return, Advancelaw’s 300+ General Counsels provide feedback on value and cost, driving the entire ecosystem with data and transparency. The result is oversight and control of outside spend, with increased diversity, innovation, and performance.
Laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s needs
Mitratech’s inclusion in the 2023 IDC MarketScape for worldwide enterprise legal management software comes on the heels of a momentous year of significant product updates and growth for Mitratech, including an embedded application within Microsoft Teams for our automation platform, TAP, the release of TeamConnect 7.0 with its latest machine learning bill review component, InvoiceIQ, and an updated UX/UI across the entire Mitratech product portfolio.
Meanwhile, continuous AI-driven enhancements (like the new Attachment Analysis in Alyne, Mitratech’s GRC platform) and the introduction of legal sourcing as a service model for outside counsel firm and panel management through offerings like AdvanceLaw, have kept the Mitratech community excited about what’s to come in enterprise legal management and beyond. Mitratech will be revealing many of these enhancements – along with some never-before-seen roadmap announcements — at our Annual User Conference in New Orleans this October, where IDC’s Ryan O’Leary will be a featured guest speaker alongside other notable industry analysts.