CLOC 2020 Preview: How to Future-Proof Your Legal Stack
CLOC Global Institute 2020 will feature plenty of exceptional content this year, as it usually does. And, as it usually does, Mitratech will be on hand to contribute our part.
This year, it’s in the form of a session devoted to Building a Future-Proof Legal Tech Stack. It’s a topic that’s resonated with our Legal Operations and other legal department clients this year, as COVID-19 has compelled many of them to make significant legal tech investments. But as we say in the session description, “digital maturity is no longer a matter of when it arrives – it’s now about how quickly you can update and integrate your tech stack to sustain business continuity and drive value well into the future.”
George Chiu, Director of Systems Development at Prudential Financial, Brian McGovern, General Manager of Workflow Solutions at Mitratech, and Yuka Tzavaras, Senior Manager of Legal Operations at Electronic Arts will be the featured panelists. Some of the areas they’ll cover?
Why a data strategy is a necessary first step
Legal departments are, sometimes to their surprise, in possession of a huge amount of useful data. Technology helps them derive value from that data. But first, they need to develop a comprehensive data strategy that aligns with business objectives. That way, legal departments can draft meaningful legal metrics that drive data-informed decision making.
That strategy has to be hand-in-glove with a company’s business strategy, or the overall department strategy for achieving organizational goals. By understanding those and the processes supporting them, legal department leaders can decide what data matters most in creating meaningful KPIs to measure success.
Some of the questions a well-conceived data strategy answers?
- What work should stay in-house, versus what should be outsourced.
- What work needs the attention of the legal staff?
- What are the technologies I need to onboard (or sunset)?
Data strategy is a foundation of both current ROI and increasing future value. As a legal department matures in its data collection and analysis capabilities, the department’s importance to the overall organization will only grow.
What’s it mean to “integrate technology with purpose”?
For most legal departments, its tech stack is built around an enterprise legal management (ELM) system. Integrations with other components in the tech stack, therefore, should revolve around the ELM. They should be done with an eye toward enhancing its functionality and effectiveness.
An example: Integration with Microsoft® Office allows legal staff to manage matters from the applications they use most, like Outlook, to easily upload emails and attachments. This saves time and ensures matter records are complete.
The systems that can be integrated with the ELM as a central source of truth, Brian McGovern says, “the more like you’re going to generate some value there.” Integrating an ELM or other legal management solution with process automation can create value by ensuring the right information and documentation is routed to the right people at the right time, enriching collaboration while reducing costs, execution time, and mistakes.
Bringing on the best early adopters to build long-term success
By co-opting internal adopters who are enthusiastic about a new technology, you’ll set yourself up to better contend with any early adoption issues and make steady progress. By recruiting people with lean process expertise, such as Six Sigma? Even better. Together, they form what Brian McGovern refers to as a “transformation office” that’s able to examine current processes and finding where improvements can be made. They’re also a useful cadre of evangelists who can influence others across the organization over time.
For companies that are just starting to put together a legal tech stack, it’s not practical to expect to have big data resources on hand to help optimize processes. Instead, there are other tactics to use to enable a smooth, user-centric technology launch:
- Have your team reach outside the legal department to tap consultants, vendors, and peers who had experiences in similar transformations. Collect their recommendations and best practices to help you shape your team’s decisions.
- Create feedback loops so you gain deeper understanding of user pain points or resistances to a new technology. Becoming an active listener to their concerns can have the surprising effect of making them feel they’ve got a share of ownership in the transition.
- Prioritize deliverables based on user input; use scorecards to rank their requirements so you can address the most important ones first, because you simply won’t be able to be all things to all users at launch.
- Ensure flexibility in your solutions and processes that will allow you to meet their future needs and grow with them, not impose limitations.
- Over-communicate by using every available channel you’ve got available, including emails, web pages, webinars, demos, virtual one-on-ones, video, and more.
Those are only some of the points our blue-chip Legal Ops panel will address during the session. So if you haven’t registered for CLOC 2020 yet, please consider it. Or if you have, make sure to make us part of your virtual experience!