Tips to Invest In Your Tech Stack Without Exacerbating Tech Bloat
Tips to Invest In Your Tech Stack Without Exacerbating Tech Bloat

Avoid Tech Bloat: Tips for Tackling “One-More-Solution Syndrome” in Your Legal Tech Stack

Emily Bogin |

Everyone is telling you to invest in your tech stack — but that doesn’t necessarily mean expanding it… 

“Add this feature;” “consider this capability;” “It’s time to invest in your technology;” — sound familiar?

Employees are finding themselves increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps and digital tools designed to solve pain points and enhance productivity. Recent studies indicate, however, that the proliferation of workplace applications is having the opposite effect, leading to stress, inefficiency, and burnout among workers.

And that’s even at the operational level. In fact, a recent survey by Freshworks revealed that 54% of IT professionals say their organization pays for software their IT teams never use, only ever reporting use of half of the applications available to them.

Where One-More-Solution Syndrome Sneaks In

As teams are expected to deliver on more than ever before, drawing on vast amounts of data to drive intelligent business decisions, they often find themselves pulled into the allure of new, quick-fix point solutions.

They’re fast, easy to get up and running, and solve for an immediate pain point — but long term? Don’t expect these solutions with incompatible features, custom code, and no API integrations to keep up. In fact, this one-and-done approach is often what we consider to be a top pitfall of legal technology adoption. And try not to fall for a homegrown solution, either; which will eventually place the burden of integration, training, and user support onto the shoulders of your IT team, eating up critical time and impacting department performance.

There are many calls to invest in their tech stack to solve the challenges of today – and prepare for the ones on the horizon. But with the increased importance of the legal toolset comes the new challenge of keeping your stack focused and agile. Often, new, quick-fix point solutions clog up your processes by adding new layers of code and customization, when they are supposed to reduce your time spent on those very processes.

The Real Costs of Bloat (And a Fragmented Tech Stack)

An overabundance of applications can lead to fatigue and burnout. Quick fixes also contribute to tech bloat, which is the expansion of a tech stack that leads to inefficiency and chaos rather than optimization and automation. In other words, tech bloat happens when problems are solved by investing money in solutions that could be addressed with existing applications. Always reaching for “one more solution” can do the opposite of what is needed.

Some of the pitfalls of a tech stack that expands before it consolidates?

  • Redundancy: Multiple tools that serve overlapping functions often lead to wasted resources. For example, if one goal is to have better reporting, there should be one place to report on all key metrics — not many places with piecemeal information.
  • Data Silos: Fragmented systems isolate information, making comprehensive analysis difficult.
  • Complexity: Managing numerous tools increases the complexity of operations, making it harder for your employees to know where to go, difficult to move quickly, and requires more training.
Legal Trends and Challenges that GCs (and their legal teams) currently face

Ready to Avoid Tech Bloat Once and For All? Evaluate Your Real Tech Needs.

Reducing the number of applications can simplify workflows and reduce cognitive load. 94% of enterprise business professionals prefer unifying their automation within a single platform over relying on multiple disparate systems, and 72% of GCs believe reducing the number of technology and service providers will achieve cost savings.

So, what should you do before you reach to scratch the one-more-solution itch?

  1. When you hear, “We need better reporting”
    Ask yourself: Can we report across our eBilling, contract management, and outside counsel spend? Before you add new tools to your tech stack, make sure that the pieces you currently manage can talk to each other and give you a full view of your trends.
  2. When you hear, “Improve legal spend”
    If your analytics do not synthesize information across data sets, chances are that you are not improving legal spend as strategically as you could. But new tools aren’t going to fix the problem: to improve legal spend, you need a 360-degree view of your current spend across all platforms. The only way there is through an integrated approach to your legal technologies.
  3. When you hear, “Can we make that process faster?”It’s time for more optimized workflows in your legal operations teams. But this doesn’t always mean adding more tools – it often means integrating between the ones you already have. For example, there is no reason your matter management platform should not be integrated with your communication tools. It should be easy to start a matter from Microsoft Teams or from Salesforce – but not necessarily by adding a new tool so much as by investing in the ones you already have.

When you are ready to invest in your tech stack, look to the tools you already own and whether they can be elevated to meet your needs — without adding tech bloat. Evaluate your existing tools and see if they can be integrated or combined.

Our focus? On your success.

Schedule a demo, or learn more about Mitratech’s products, services, and commitment.