ELM Challenges: The Accelerating Need to Automate and Digitise
A rapidly evolving work environment and geopolitical realities are greatly accelerating the need for digitisation. This is made crystal clear when you look at the various studies that reveal a real sea-change in executives’ attitudes toward digital transformation.
According to McKinsey,
In one European survey, about 70 percent of executives from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland said the pandemic is likely to accelerate the pace of their digital transformation.
Yet another analysis claims the global market for legal operations software, which includes ELM, will keep growing at a healthy CAGR of 15.8% through 2029. It’s obvious that increasing adoption by more companies is propelling this trend.
The question is, of course: Is your organisation on board?
An overview of enterprise legal management
We’ve gone into the definition of ELM before, but here’s a quick refresher.
According to g2,
Enterprise legal management software often includes intake, matter management, contract management, spend management, knowledge management, legal hold, billing, and analytics capabilities. Corporate legal departments use enterprise legal management solutions to maintain a holistic view of their activities, control legal spending, and manage an electronic legal record repository. Key functions of enterprise legal management software include process automation and create a centralized hub for all relevant operations information.
That’s a thorough breakdown, but let’s simplify it slightly further. There are three main functions that most effective ELM software solutions will encompass:
- Matter management, which refers to managing all activities surrounding, obviously enough, the handling of matters.
- Legal spend management is also fairly self-explanatory: It’s the practice and process involved in giving a legal department insight into and control over their legal costs. There’s a constant need, for instance, to protect against billing errors by outside counsel and resource providers.
- Reporting and analytics. Like other departments, legal needs to measure and report their progress to analyze what is and isn’t working, and demonstrate performance to corporate management and other stakeholders. But manual processes make this incredibly more difficult. A lack of digitisation can result in inaccuracy and delays in reporting that stymie insight.
Why is there a new focus on ELM?
Enterprise legal departments have been aware of the eventual need for digital transformation. Why is this now such a high priority? As with a lot of recent adoption of new processes and tools, we can point to the COVID-19 pandemic as being a spur for this new sense of urgency.
Once again quoting McKinsey:
The COVID-19 crisis seemingly provides a sudden glimpse into a future world, one in which digital has become central to every interaction, forcing both organisations and individuals further up the adoption curve almost overnight. A world in which digital channels become the primary (and, in some cases, sole) customer-engagement model, and automated processes become a primary driver of productivity…A world in which agile ways of working are a prerequisite to meeting seemingly daily changes to customer behavior.
No matter how much or how little the pandemic affected your enterprise, it’s undeniable that the very foundation of how most organisations function has been changed by COVID-19. Flexible work arrangements (and a hybrid workforce) are no longer a surprising benefit, but an expected reality.
Corporate reliance on digital platforms and applications to drive operational efficiency and productivity had increased significantly even before COVID. So it only makes sense that legal operations had begun to reflect this, as well. Enterprise legal management has been one of the beneficiaries of this search for digital solutions.
Benefits of ELM digitisation
What are the benefits your organisation should expect to see? If you find the right ELM software for your enterprise, these are just some of the major advantages your legal department will experience.
Enhance visibility and accountability
Heightened visibility into processes helps leadership make informed decisions and drive toward Key Performance Indicators that define long term value. The proper ELM solution helps ensure that Legal drives value for the entire company, not just the department.
See quick legal spend savings
With the right ELM platform in place, Legal enjoys an immediate reduction in outside counsel spend, driving up to 5-10% legal spend savings annually. They can also realize a 17% reduction in the average cost of an incident or claim and a reduction in duplicate payments due to manual oversight.
Break down technology & process silos
Siloed, manual business processes negatively impact your organisational performance. Employees waste valuable time conducting processes that could easily be automated.
Consolidate your ELM stack
Your ELM software should help you consolidate your ELM tech stack by reducing the number of individual, disparate vendors you engage with. By working with a single proven partner, you’ll be able to avoid costly integration headaches. Cutting down on the number of vendors integrated into your organisation also means reducing your vendor risk.
Improve legal outcomes
You’ll empower your legal department by putting the right information in the hands of the right persons at the right time. That leads to better outcomes all around.
Spur enhanced productivity through automation
One ELM user reduced the effort to open and assign new matters and budgets by 75% and saved 30 minutes per invoice through electronic review and invoice approvals. Automated features thus create happier employees, higher productivity, and prodigious efficiency gains. It’s the answer to pressure from the Board and other stakeholders to elevate productivity.
Optimize your legal staff
Reassign critical resources to higher-value tasks and more strategic activities, now that easy-to-adopt technology has freed them from mundane work. They’re now able to focus on tasks that are more gratifying and profitable for both them and the organisation.
Inspire strong internal synergy
Foster greater internal collaboration both within the legal department and across your enterprise. A single source of truth for all legal processes, matter management, e-billing, and more provides convenience and security against error and loss of vital documents and information.
Workflow automation integration as “force multiplier”
When paired with the right workflow automation solution, an ELM can actually extend the legal best practices that are embedded in legal department processes across the entire organisation. So you’ll embed compliance, collaboration, and efficiency in processes used by other departments – and even outside counsel.
Adopting a best-in-class ELM software platform
One key to success in digitisation? Adopting a holistic ELM software platform possessing all the functionality you require, integrates well with existing systems, and supplies the agility, flexibility, and scalability that’s compulsory, in the post-pandemic era, for a modern corporation with significant legal needs.
Moreover? It should be backed by a provider who is dependable and historically proven to deliver customer-centric collaboration and support.