2020 Fiscal Year Legal Tech
2020 Fiscal Year Legal Tech

The 12 Ways of Fiscal Festivity, or How to Spend Your Remaining Tech Budget

‘Tis the season to be giving. Giving your legal tech stack an appraising gaze, that is, now that a tough year is on its way out– and, maybe, your fiscal year along with it.  And, may we suggest? It’s a great time to invest any leftover budget in improving that stack, or in other good ways to ring out FY2020.

The mere idea warms the heart, doesn’t it?  And while there are probably as many ideas for how to spend that money as there are old fruitcakes gathering dust in pantries – which is to say, a lot – here are twelve sparkling suggestions on how to give yourself and your organization with something special to enter the new (fiscal) year.

Reserve your seats right now – why wait?

You know there’s the very good chance you’ll be telling yourself, in mid-2021, “I wish I’d grabbed more per-seat licenses back at the end of 2020, when all the good deals were available!”  Providers want to close out their year on a high note, too.

Publish a gifts & entertainment workflow

Keep your executives and employees out of trouble this holiday and beyond by adopting an automated workflow that’ll make it easy for them to report on gifting and entertainment activities, and stay off Compliance Santa’s “bad” list.  Or is that Santa Compliance? Compliance Claus?

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The perfect stocking stuffer: LegalHold for the holidays!

There might be a Legal Operations professional in your life who’s wistfully wondering how he or she can get control of the legal holds that keep multiplying faster than Hallmark Channel holiday movies.  What would they love to receive this season?  How about an easy-to-use solution that streamlines and simplifies end-to-end management of all those legal holds?  That would be so considerate of you!

Oh, and a sweater would be nice, too.  Just not the one this guy got.

Do a tech stack performance audit

Whether you’re applying technology tools to legal, risk management, or human resources demands?  It’s a good idea to do a comprehensive assessment of what’s currently working and what needs improvement in your tech stack.  Are your legacy solutions still pulling their weight?  Are recent additions integrating productively with them?  Can you count on your current stack to deliver value in the year ahead, or are you anticipating a lot of patching and spackling to keep it operable?  Gauge its performance now so you can be better prepped for #5…

Build your budget and legal tech roadmap for next year now

If you’ve already done it, then our holiday hats are off to you!  If you haven’t, or you’re still fine-tuning it?  Don’t forget to think about your tech roadmap in terms of how you should future-proof it so it becomes the gift that keeps on giving – in ROI, efficiency, and improved outcomes – for many years to come.

Audit your Shadow IT

Shadow IT and End-User Computing (EUC) assets like spreadsheets are probably spread around your organization like tracked-in tinsel after the company Christmas party.  After the pandemic and the pivot to work-from-home for so many enterprises?  They may have exploded. So it might be time for a health check to see just what the situation really is, so you’re not getting any nasty New Year’s surprises!

Make your back-to-the-office planning

We all had to swing into the work-from-home mode with unexpected suddenness, and companies have learned some valuable lessons from it that will serve them well in 2021.  One thing to be prepared for, though?  The fact that many workers may be returning to the office once the pandemic has abated.  That’ll mean revisiting policies and procedures you may have modified to accommodate the switch to remote staffing, so you might want to invest in a solution that can streamline policy management to adapt to any upcoming changes.

Give yourself an (at-home) spa day

Admittedly, you shouldn’t try to put this against your technology budget.  But on a personal basis, after the year we’ve all had?  Priorities.

Invest in some funky Zoom backgrounds

Lighten up those conference video calls!  Unless, of course, everyone has already been through that stage and has gotten bored with funky Zoom backgrounds and now just sets it on “blur.”  Alternate idea: Add a few new Zoom shirts to your grab-and-cam wardrobe.

Make sure your I-9 compliance processes are automated

Roaming around in the realm of inefficiency and manual management of the I-9 process is sort of like being stranded on the Island of Misfit Toys, unsure of what may come next: ICE may be coming down your chimney sometime if you’re not in compliance.  Adopting a proven solution that’s kept its users free and clear of fines for two decades will help keep the regulatory Grinches and Bumbles from penalizing your organization.

Find out which vendors have been naughty or nice

If you haven’t invested in a third-party vendor risk management solution, it’s a good time to consider it for 2021.  Do you know if your third- and even fourth-party vendors are exposing you to undue risk? That would be a lump of coal in anybody’s stocking.  But vendor networks nowadays have a habit of expanding, not contracting, as contractors utilize subcontractors who utilize sub-subcontractors…and as the network expands, so does the possibility of injurious risk.

Hold a “Bye-Bye-2020 Party”

Put a little budget toward celebrating the passage of one year and the brighter (one hopes) possibilities of a new one.  Burn some sage to dispel any bad spirits, raise a toast to your team’s success (even if only via an online holiday party), and, maybe most important? Burn every 2020 calendar you can lay your hands on.  

Here’s to a happier and safer 2021.

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