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4 Legal Process Automation Benefits You Need in 2021

Aneesa Needel |

McKinsey estimates that a whopping 23% of work done by lawyers today can be automated by existing technology. Just think of the efficiency this could provide to your organization.  But does it mean you need 23% fewer lawyers?

Not to worry though – as outlined by the UCLA Law Review, leading experts on automation believe that technology complements the work done by lawyers, rather than replaces them. In 2018, the total legal technology spend in the U.S. exceeded $3 billion – and this number has increased steadily since.

Corporate legal departments are, of course, under unrelenting pressure to reduce costs while increasing efficiency. This is where legal process automation comes in – it allows companies to streamline, automate, manage, and measure all manner of legal tasks.

Chances are, you may have a legal process automation solution in place already – but is it doing the most it can? Sliding into 2021, this is the perfect time to evaluate (or re-evaluate) whether or not you’re benefiting from your chosen solution. Here are three major potential benefit areas to take into consideration when looking for the best automation solution.

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ROI and cost of ownership

Let’s face it – no matter what legal process automation solution you look at, it all boils down to ROI and the cost to your organization.  With the new pressures brought on by 2020, this is as important as ever.

An effective legal automation solution provides immediate access to the entire set of tools needed for intuitive, drag-and-drop workflow automation and process transformation. Why wait to see what kind of return on investment you’re getting? A good solution demonstrates immediate ROI and scales easily with greater deployment across more processes, while giving you valuable insights into how your business processes are functioning so you can continually optimize them.

On the same note, the best automation technology will lower your total cost of ownership. You can reduce total costs because you’ll eliminate infrastructure requirements, have predictable pricing, reducing training and support costs, and be equipped with the ability to embed risk and compliance best practices within processes, which also ultimately saves money.

Ease of adoption and use

Any effective legal process automation solution should be built for ease of use and deployment, providing a level of self-service allowing you to design and publish workflows for any process with no coding, IT, or developer involvement necessary. Not only does it simplify your life, but this flows into your reduced cost while lowering the margin of human error. It’s a win-win!

You should have the ability to configure custom integrations, and/or integrate your solution smoothly and easily with major software applications, such as eSign integrations. One SaaS solution should be sufficient to use for your processes across multiple functions and departments. It should be flexible and scalable, with the ability to respond quickly to changing needs with an agile methodology enabling implementation.

Better compliance

In terms of reporting and analytics, it’s important to have the ability to access reports in a variety of formats, as this provides visibility and transparency across your whole organization. This leads to increased accountability and better compliance.

You should be able to track and monitor every transaction across all workflows, with a single-source of truth and audit trails. This is more vital than ever now that we’re dealing with remote workforces.  Ideally, your solution should provide managed access to centralized documents, workflow statuses, and analytics with real-time collaboration. An effective solution would have been developed with top security experts and compliance managers to meet the toughest security standards, protecting your organization from changing rules and regulations and the dangers inherent in having a widely disseminated staff.

Added agility

What did 2020 impress upon nearly every department in nearly every company globally?  That the ability to quickly pivot to address new circumstances, like remote workforces or the legal implications of a massive pandemic, is paramount.

Legal process automation can deliver that agility like practically no other technological enhancement available to enterprise legal teams and other departments that work with them.  The right solution can cross departmental boundaries and embed legal best practices in the workflows used by other corporate units, while also imparting the same efficiencies it does to the legal department.  If that doesn’t make Legal a hero in the boardroom, we’re not sure what else would.

You should expect a lot from legal process automation

It may sound like you’re asking too much of a single solution – but your organization deserves the best. Especially as organizations rebound from a difficult 2020, and stress agility, productivity, and efficiency more than ever before.

Legal process automation can provide all of the above while saving your Legal Operations team and staff counsel from mundane, routine tasks and soul-killing paperwork, while liberating them to focus on more important tasks. Legal process automation can transform your company – your bottom line, employees, and clients alike will thank you for it.

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